Masterpieces from the Guggenheim Collection at Hôtel de Caumont

Paul Cézanne, Bibémus, ca. 1894–95

Following the fantastic exhibition devoted to Nicolas de Staël last summer, Hôtel de Caumont Art Centre in Aix en Provence stages a remarkable exhibition of Impressionist, post-Impressionist, and avant-garde masterpieces from the collection of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in New York. The stunning show is on view until 29th September 2019.

Curated by Megan Fontanella, from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, From Manet to Picasso : The Thannhauser collection features around fifty major paintings from the Thannhauser Collection.

German art dealer, Heinrich Thannhauser (1859–1935) and his son Justin (1892–1976) were patrons of major artists of the 20th century. Their tastes, collections, and lives helped shape Modern Art history. Among significant moments of their lives, is the constant championing of Pablo Picasso. Their art gallery held one of the first major retrospective exhibitions of Picasso’s oeuvre in 1913, which helped forge a long and close friendship between Justin Thannhauser and the artist. Thannhauser’s sharp eye for works by the likes of Kandinsky, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Klee, Braque and Cézanne appears vividly in this exhibition.

This show, which opens with Cézanne’s Homme aux bras croisés (c. 1899) – a nod to the city where the exhibition is presented – also features Bibémus (Bibémus Quarries) a painting which returns for the first time to Aix-in-Provence, where it was painted circa 1894–1895.

Other major highlights include Le Moulin de la Galette (1900) by Picasso, an exceptional loan from the Guggenheim Museum, El Picador by Picasso (1900), as well as masterpieces by van Gogh such as Montagnes à Saint-Rémy (1899) and Le Viaduc (1887), Monet’s Le Palais ducal vu de Saint-Georges-Majeur (1908), and Franz Marc’s Vache jaune (Gelbe Kuh) (1911).

From Manet to Picasso provides an opportunity to trace the history of the Thannhauser galleries and Collection, and includes archival materials such as notebooks, invoices, and personal photographs which shed light on the relationship established between the illustrious family and wider art community of the time.

Brilliantly curated (The Nicolas de Staël exhibition featured too many works for the space), Masterpieces from the Guggenheim Foundation, closes with a stunning room dedicated to Picasso’s lovers. Three rare paintings including Fernande à la mantille noire from 1905 and Woman with Yellow Hair (Femme aux cheveux jaunes) from 1931 exemplify Picasso’s fascinating innovation with pigments (Ripolin), technique and inspiration (Greek mythology).

Vincent van Gogh
Vincent van Gogh, Mountains at Saint-Rémy (Montagnes à Saint-Rémy), July 1889
Images: Paul Cézanne, Bibémus, vers 1894-1895, Huile sur toile, 71,4 ´ 90,1 cm, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Thannhauser Collection, don Justin K. Thannhauser, 78.2514.6.
Vincent van Gogh, Montagnes à Saint-Rémy, Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, juillet 1889, Huile sur toile, 72,8 ´ 92 cm, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Thannhauser Collection, don Justin K. Thannhauser, 78.2514.24.