Painters in Paris, 1895–1950
France was host to many foreign artists during the first decades of the twentieth century, and Paris lay at the heart of the development of Modern art. This exhibition, which brings together for the first time more than one hundred works from the Metropolitan's collection of paintings from the School of Paris, includes the works of thirty-six modern masters, among them Braque, Chagall, Dubuffet, Matisse, Miró, Modigliani, and nineteen paintings by Picasso. United in this exhibition, the works recall the great vitality of Modern Paris.
The exhibition begins richly with Pierre Bonnard's The Children's Meal (1895), and paintings by Maurice Denis and Edouard Vuillard, as well as a later example by their predecessor Claude Monet—Reflections, the Water Lily Pond at Giverny (ca. 1920). Works of the 1940s—late paintings by Georges Braque, Jean Hélion, and Fernand Léger, and three early paintings by Jean Dubuffet—concluded the exhibition. Balthus, represented by four paintings, was the only featured artist aside from Hélion and Dubuffet born after 1900, and the only living artist included.
Organized chronologically, this revelatory exhibition traces the development of painting in France from its Impressionist roots at the turn of the century through the aftermath of World War II, engaging the Fauves, the Cubists, and the Surrealists. The exhibition's juxtaposition of subject matter and style reveal unexpected relationships between the artists who so profoundly shaped the art of their century.