One of the main architects of the exhibition that brings the Shchukin Collection together at the Fondation Louis Vuitton, André-Marc Delocque-Fourcaud, the grandson of Sergei Shchukin, recounts the joy he feels in seeing a large portion of the masterpieces in his grandfather’s collection reunited in Paris, nearly a century after Sergei Shchukin finished acquiring them.
How do you feel seeing your grandfather’s collection brought together and displayed in France for the first time?
This is a tremendously emotional experience, and I feel a deep sense of gratitude towards everyone who helped make this exhibition possible. The Hermitage Museum, the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts and the Tretyakov Gallery were extremely generous in lending such a large number of treasures. This is clearly a warm gesture towards my grandfather, who acquired the last paintings in his collection exactly a century ago. I also want to thank LVMH and the Fondation Louis Vuitton, which is no doubt the only institution in France capable of hosting an exhibition that counts so many extraordinary works by so many of the 20th century’s greatest painters. With this exhibition I have the strange feeling that my memory has been returned to me…
Is there any one work in your grandfather’s collection that moves you in particular?
It depends on different periods in my life. Right now I’m especially fond of “La Montagne Sainte-Victoire” by Cézanne. It’s a totally cubist painting, from the base of the mountain rising all the way to the top with colors and contours that become progressively simpler, like an ascension towards abstraction. Cézanne was really a ‘painter’s painter’ and a symbolic teacher of both Matisse and Picasso.