Home Art collection The successful loan exhibition of the precious Russian Morozov collection is still in Paris

The successful loan exhibition of the precious Russian Morozov collection is still in Paris


A major international exhibition, which opened in Paris last fall after being postponed three times due to COVID-19, offers a rare view of 200 masterpieces from the collection of the Russian brothers, Mikhail and Ivan Morozov. As Russia invaded Ukraine last week, the exhibition of outstanding paintings from Russian museums⁠—one of the most valuable collections of modern art in the world⁠—remains on loan in France until, for the time being, a date postponed to April 3, 2022.

On view across four floors of galleries at the Frank Gehry-designed Louis Vuitton Foundation, The Morozov Collection. Modern art icons is the collection’s first loan outside of Russia since its creation at the turn of the 20th century.

“Following its great success, the Louis Vuitton Foundation, in agreement with its partners, the Hermitage Museum, the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts and the Tretyakov Gallery, has decided to extend the exhibition for five weeks”, reads -on on the museum’s website, in an update made at an earlier date. (The show was originally scheduled to end on February 22, 2022, just days before Russia attacked Ukraine.)

Organized by Anne Baldassari, the exhibition took years to organize and had “a colossal budget”, reported the New York Times in September 2021. Negotiations for the loan exhibition included assistance from the Fondation Louis Vuitton with restorations and “required a colossal diplomatic effort, with the assurance that French law would protect Russian museums against any claims by descendants of the Morozovs , and a personal endorsement for loans from President Vladimir V. Putin.”

Alongside the Russian masters, the textile magnate brothers shrewdly amassed a huge treasure trove of Parisian avant-garde works such as Gauguin, Monet, Van Gogh and Picasso, and made Moscow a center of modern French art. circa 1900. With the October Revolution of 1918, their art was dispersed and became part of the national collection. Ivan Morozov then went into exile (his brother died in 1903).

Under the Soviet state, several masterpieces from the Morozov collection were sold, including that of Van Gogh Night Cafe (now in the collection of Yale University) and Cézanne’s Portrait of Madame Cézanne (now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art).

Also, some of Morozov’s art was not loaned to Paris and remains in Russia, such as Van Gogh’s work Red vineyard in Arlesthe only work he sold during his lifetime.