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Works by some of France’s most celebrated painters are featured in From the Collection: 300 Years of French Landscape Painting, a new exhibition that opened July 17 at the Toledo Museum of Art.

Curated by Lawrence W. Nichols, William Hutton senior curator of European and American painting and sculpture before 1900, this small, insightful show offers a chronological survey of the French approach to painting landscapes.

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Thursday, 06 August 2015 11:29

The Louvre Updates Its French Painting Galleries

The Musée du Louvre in Paris is in the midst of updating its French painting galleries in the Sully wing, part of an ongoing effort under Jean-Luc Martinez, named the museum’s director in 2013, to focus on the permanent displays. “We need to breathe new life into the museum to make its fabulous collection come alive…. I want to give the museum a complete makeover,” Martinez told The Art Newspaper in a 2014 interview.

The 19th-century French painting galleries, which have be rehung, reopened August 5.

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One of the most beloved paintings in the Gallery’s permanent collection, "Young Girl Reading" (c. 1770) by Jean-Honoré Fragonard, shows a young woman in profile, reading the book in her hand. It is now clear that a completely different face was painted underneath, that of an older woman looking out towards the viewer. Using groundbreaking imaging techniques and new art historical investigation, Yuriko Jackall, assistant curator of French paintings, John Delaney, senior imaging scientist, and Michael Swicklik, senior paintings conservator, all at the National Gallery of Art, recovered and reconstructed this first composition, a fully-realized, “lost” painting newly referred to as "Portrait of a Woman with a Book."

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An exhibition of excellent modern French paintings created by Impressionists Renoir, Monet and other artists began Saturday at the Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum in Tokyo’s Maru-nouchi district.

Titled “Intimate Impressionism from the National Gallery of Art, Washington,” the exhibition is organized by The Yomiuri Shimbun and other entities. More than half the 68 works from the major museum in the U.S. capital are being shown to the public in Japan for the first time.

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The Philadelphia Museum of Art has announced the acquisition of five major French paintings as a bequest from a longtime supporter.

The works are a late Cezanne painting of Mont Sainte-Victorie, a Manet still life of fruit, a landscape and cityscape by Pissarro and a Morisot portrait. All were a bequest from Helen Tyson Madeira, who died last year.

The museum also announced that it had received two early portraits by Marcel Duchamp.

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Tuesday, 22 April 2014 15:26

French Masterpieces Go on View in China

Ten masterpieces of French painting are currently on view at China’s National Museum in Beijing. The exhibition, which was organized by the National Museum and the Réunion des musées nationaux - Grand Palais in Paris, is part of an ongoing series of events commemorating the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties between France and China.

The paintings are on loan from France’s most celebrated institutions -- the Musée du Louvre, the Château de Versailles, the Musée d’Orsay, the Musée Picasso, and the Centre Pompidou, musée national d’Art moderne. The show marks the first time that these renowned institutions have collaborated on an exhibition. Works on view include Jean-Honore Fragonard’s “The Bolt;” Georges de La Tour’s “Saint Joseph Carpenter;” Pablo Picasso’s “Reading the Letter” and “The Matador;” Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s “Dance at Le moulin de la Galette” and “The Swing;” Jean Clouet’s “Francois I of France;” Hyacinthe Rigaud’s “King Louis XIV of France at age of 63;” and Fernand Leger’s “Three Figures.”    

“Ten Masterpieces of French Painting” will remain on view at the National Museum through June 16.

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On May 23, 2013, after a two and a half year renovation, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York will unveil 45 updated and expanded galleries of European paintings. The new space, which has increased by about a third, boasts 600 works of art dating from 1250 to 1800. Arranged in chronological order and grouped by country, the collection includes the Met’s renowned holdings of early Dutch, French, and Italian paintings.

The reimagined European painting galleries include 23 high profile loans, mainly from private collections. Works by Jan Van Eyck (1395-1441), Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665), Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510), and Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) will be on view for at least six months thanks to the generosity of the Met’s trustees, and patrons.

The Met’s European painting galleries have not been fully renovated since the early 1950s. When the new galleries open next week, the Met will offer various walking guides as well as online versions of the tours.

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When the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art closes on June 2, 2013 for three years worth of renovations and an expansion, the institution will send some of its treasured holdings away. 23 masterpieces by Henri Matisse (1869-1954) won’t have far to travel as they will be exhibited at the Legion of Honor, San Francisco’s museum of European paintings and sculpture.

The Matisse works headed to the Legion of Honor include 16 paintings, 4 sculptures, and 3 works on paper, which will hang in one of the museum’s ground-floor galleries alongside two paintings already in the Legion’s collection. The only Matisse painting that will remain off view is Femme au Chapeau (1905) as the terms of its bequest by philanthropist Elise S. Haas state that the painting cannot travel.

Although details are still vague, the Legion of Honor will host two relevant shows while exhibiting the Matisse works – one will be a retrospective of Matisse’s older contemporary, Anders Zorn (1860-1920), and the other will be a survey of French paintings on loan from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

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