Cézanne and the Moderns

Being fairly partial to the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists it seemed only wise to investigate the third floor exhibition space at the Ashmolean, last Thursday.

I picked Thursday specifically as I knew that this day (and Tuesdays), from 3.30pm until 4.15pm, any ticket holder can freely join an ‘introduction’ to the exhibition, thereby maximising one’s understanding and getting a little backstory.

Our guide was not only beautifully dressed; beautiful; French; and a fountain of knowledge – she also managed to bring my limited education in ‘history of art’ (of this period), up to a comfortable post Digestif discussion standard. Well, maybe…

So the works on show come from the impressive private collection of Henry and Rose Pearlman. The former being a successful North American businessman (and I assume the latter – his wife). He clearly had a good eye; taste; an open mind; and spent his money wisely – for there’s no denying it, Cézanne and the Moderns doesn’t hold back on impress factor. From watercolours, through wood carvings to an ‘Ahh’ making bronze bust, there’s something to appeal to all.

In addition, the painters he collected – you’d be hard pushed to find a more experimental, talented and eclectic bunch. Imagine standing just four inches from a Van Gogh – you can. Or being impressed by Toulouse-Lautrec’s gift with painting/creating light – you can.

So, not sure yet…this glorious Cézanne creation is there and a million times better two feet in front of your lucky eyes.

provencal manorAside from the above, there were several more works I was particularly fond of:

  • An angular and warrior like limestone ‘Head’ by Amedeo Mogigliani (1910-11)
  • Cézanne’s ‘Three Pears’ (1888-90)
  • And possibly my very very favourite – Wilhelm Lehmbruck’s ‘Bust of a Woman’ (1910)

lehmbruck bust Ohh, and there’s no surprise that this one was purchased in postcard format and now resides on my kitchen wall.

degas lady post washingThe exhibition runs until 22 June 2014

To learn more about the fabulous Pearlman collection head to www.pearlmancollection.org

And please note all images sourced there as well.