The Iconic Edition
News
|23 Oct|3 mins

Why You Need to See Masters of Modern Art

You don’t even have to leave the country
Kate Tregoning
23 Oct
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When 65 of the world’s most significant artworks come to Australia, you pause Netflix and go and get yourself some culture. On loan from Russia’s Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, it would ordinarily require a 10,000km trip to view the famous pieces from Monet’s Poppy Field to Picasso’s Table in a Cafe, but until 3 March, these treasures call the Art Gallery of New South Wales home.

News
|23 Oct|3 mins

Why You Need to See Masters of Modern Art

You don’t even have to leave the country
Kate Tregoning
23 Oct
Share:

When 65 of the world’s most significant artworks come to Australia, you pause Netflix and go and get yourself some culture. On loan from Russia’s Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, it would ordinarily require a 10,000km trip to view the famous pieces from Monet’s Poppy Field to Picasso’s Table in a Cafe, but until 3 March, these treasures call the Art Gallery of New South Wales home.

Wassily Kandinsky 'Landscape: Dünaberg near Murnau' 1913. The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg Inv GE 9098. *Hero image: Paul Gauguin 'The month of Mary (Te avae no Maria)' 1899. The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg Inv GE 6515.

Keep your eyes peeled for recognisable pieces from Cézanne, Matisse, Gauguin and Russia’s own Kandinsky - for a limited time, we’re lucky enough to have these works on our shores. Dr Michael Brand, Director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, is excited that the rare opportunity will "provide Australians, and visitors to Australia, the opportunity to experience the brilliant colour and form of the European and Russian modernists."

Claude Monet 'Poppy field' 1890/91, The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg Inv GE 9004. Hero image Paul Gauguin The Month of Mary 1899.

Over two thirds of the works are from the collections of Sergey Shchukin and Ivan Morozov - wealthy Russian businessmen who first championed the ground-breaking talent of the modern masters. While their own nation denounced their works, Shchukin recognised the significance of French impressionists like Monet, and collected 14 of his paintings. He became one of Matisse’s main patrons, acquiring 37 of his best paintings in just eight years and eventually opened his home to the public so that future talents like such as Malevich - who is also exhibited here - could study the major works of European painters.

Masters of modern art from the Hermitage is on display until March 3 at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Kate Tregoning
Lifestyle Editor