The long-awaited exhibition “Brothers Morozov. Great Russian collectors” takes place from June 21 to October 6, 2019, at the main headquarters of the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg and presents the masterpieces of Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Henri Matisse and other famous artists from the legendary collection of Michael and Ivan Morozov.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the families of Morozov and Shchukin had a great influence on the cultural life of Moscow. Thanks to their activities, the notion of “patron of art” appeared. They directly contributed to the international recognition of contemporary French artists. Formed by the brothers Morozov and Shchukin, collections of works of contemporary art are among the best in the world and are currently kept in museums in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
The Morozov family played a huge role in the development of industry, theater, museums, in the introduction of people to the new Western painting. The story of this family is short and amazing. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, the serf Savva Morozov managed to create his own workshop and redeem himself and his family for income. Already at the end of the 19th century, his grandson, also Savva, became famous for his connection with the Moscow Art Theater. His Great-grandsons, Mikhail and Ivan, became amazing collectors of new western paintings.
The exhibition will include both collections of Morozov brothers, Michael and Ivan, who turned out to be by the will of fate in different museums. Russian painting is represented mainly in the Tretyakov Gallery, and the new Western – in the Hermitage and the State Museum of Fine Arts. A.S. Pushkin. Both of these museums have combined their efforts in organizing gala exhibitions that will open almost simultaneously: Schukinskaya in Moscow, and Morozovskaya in St. Petersburg. About 60 paintings from the Shchukin collection will go from the Hermitage to the Pushkin Museum.
Undoubtedly, the symbol of the exhibition will be the most famous painting by Matisse “Dance”, once written for the Shchukin mansion in Moscow. This huge decorative canvas rarely leaves the walls of the Hermitage, being one of the most recognizable images of the museum on the Neva. The 15 paintings of Matisse presented at the exhibition, among which it is necessary to mention the iconic “Red Room”, will convey the artistic preferences of Sergey Schukin with maximum expressiveness. Another equally important group will consist of 16 works by Pablo Picasso, among which are the most famous works from the Hermitage: “The Three Women” and “The Boy with the Dog”. There is no doubt that the Hermitage section of the general exhibition is central to the exposition that is being prepared for the museum.
The exhibition “The Brothers Morozov. Great Russian Collectors” in St.Petersburg will feature 109 artworks from the Hermitage collections and 31 paintings from the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts. A.S. Pushkin collected by Ivan and Mikhail Morozov. Viewers will see the celebrated masterpieces of Monet, Renoir, Cezanne, Gauguin, Matisse and Picasso. The exhibition will feature two portraits of Jeanne Samary by Pierre-Auguste Renoir – from the Hermitage and from the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts. Two large decorative panels executed by Claude Monet will be shown by order of financier Ernest Hoshede for his castle Rottenburg in Montgeron: “A garden corner in Montgeron” and “Pond in Montgeron” from the Hermitage collection.
Decorative ensembles of post-impressionist artists, founders of the Nabi group: Pierre Bonnard’s triptych “Near the Mediterranean Sea” and Maurice Denis’s “History of Psyche” cycle will be included in the exposition: the White Hall (Music Salon) of Ivan Moroz, which will be recreated for the exhibition 1907 was commissioned a cycle of panels on Psyche. The Hermitage and the Pushkin Museum stores unique collections of works by Paul Cezanne, which will be set aside in a separate room.
In essence, both exhibitions – in Moscow and St. Petersburg – imply the same idea – both Sergey Ivanovich Schukin and the Morozov brothers collected Western art, looking back at Russian art: they did not look for paintings in Paris that resembled made the Wanderers, they found such a painting that could teach a lot and Russian artists, and the Russian public. It is impossible to forget that none other than Mikhail Morozov opened Gauguin and brought the first picture of Van Gogh to Russia, that he discovered Bonnard, that it was his brother Ivan who created a unique ensemble of paintings by Cezanne, that he ordered Maurice Denis an unprecedented design of his Musical Salon. The Hermitage exhibition commemorates these two great collectors with the fullest possible presentation of the audience to their collections.
The curator of the exhibition is Albert G. Kostenevich, Chief Researcher of the Department of Western European Art of the State Hermitage Museum, Doctor of Art History.
The exhibition “Brothers Morozov. The Great Russian Collectors ” is supported by a scientific illustrated catalog (State Hermitage Publishing House, 2019), which is preceded by introductory articles by Piotrovsky, Director General of the State Hermitage Museum, and Loshak, director of the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts. A.S. Pushkin. The author of the catalog is Kostenevich.
The exhibition is accompanied by an extensive educational program, including master classes, an intellectual marathon, lectures and meetings with curators.