The Fondation Louis Vuitton presents “The Courtauld Collection, A Vision for Impressionism” from February 20 to June 17, 2019



From February 20 to June 17, 2019, the Fondation Louis Vuitton will present more than 110 Impressionist masterpieces, including some of the most famous French paintings from the late 19th to early 20th century, all part of the extraordinary collection of English industrialist and patron of the arts Samuel Courtauld. As it has since its opening, the Fondation Louis Vuitton continues to showcase the role played by emblematic collectors and how they have shaped the history of art.

The descendent of a French family that had emigrated to England from France’s Oléron island, Samuel Courtauld rose to the head of the family company which, with the invention of viscose fiber, became a world leader in textiles and chemicals in the early 20th century. In under ten years, the captain of industry and avid francophile used his immense wealth to acquire one of the most stunning collections of Impressionist art ever seen and played a decisive role in gaining recognition for Impressionism in the United Kingdom.

Guided by his humanist vision of art, Samuel Courtauld purchased works by French masters during his regular trips to Paris. He also created an acquisition fund for British museums and subsequently the Courtauld Institute, in order to share his collection with the public. His collection includes some of the most remarkable works from the period 1860-1900, including Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear by Vincent Van Gogh, Georges Seurat’s Young Woman Powdering Herself, Paul Cézanne’s The Card Players, Nevermore by Paul Gauguin and A Bar at the Folies-Bergères by Édouard Manet.

These works are habitually displayed at the Courtauld Gallery in London or are part of public and private collections around the world. Some one hundred works, primarily paintings, joined by graphic works, have now been brought together at the Fondation Louis Vuitton for their first exhibition in Paris in over 60 years, offering a unique opportunity to discover or rediscover a major chapter in French painting.

Arranged in chronological order, the exhibition spans three galleries, revolving around two series of works by two major figures from the period: Georges Seurat (14 paintings) and Paul Cézanne (10 paintings and three drawings). The other rooms display major works by Claude Monet, Edouard Manet, Vincent Van Gogh, Edgar Degas, Auguste Renoir, Paul Gauguin, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Amedeo Modigliani. The exhibition ends with a documentary section and a film that retraces the history of the Courtauld family and the magnificent collection.

Alongside this exceptional exhibition the Fondation Louis Vuitton is also featuring a new selection of works from its own contemporary art collection. Entitled “A Vision for Painting”, this exhibition runs until August 26, 2019.