Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne and Beyond: Post-Impressionist Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay

Mar 1, 2010

Stars reflecting on a river

Vincent van Gogh, Starry Night over the Rhone, 1888. Oil on canvas, 28 ½ x 36 ¼ inches. © RMN (Musée d’Orsay)/Hervé Lewandowski

San Francisco, California, March 2010—Following on the heels of the remarkable summer exhibition Birth of Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay at the de Young is Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne and Beyond: Post-Impressionist Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay, on view from September 25, 2010, to January 18, 2011. The exhibition includes over 100 paintings from the Musée d’Orsay’s permanent collection of Post-Impressionist works and highlights the work of preeminent artists including Pierre Bonnard, Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin, Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Henri Rousseau, Georges Seurat, Paul Signac, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Vincent van Gogh, and Edouard Vuillard, among others. The Musée d’Orsay is lending works from their treasured collections while it undergoes a partial closure for refurbishment and reinstallation in anticipation of the museum’s 25th anniversary in 2011. The de Young is the only museum in North America to host this exhibition and the only museum in the world to host both of the Musée d’Orsay’s masterpiece exhibitions. This particular combination of paintings will never travel again. Tickets go on sale May 22.

“Each of these two shows brings together masterpieces that, once they return to the Musée d’Orsay, will never again be loaned out for exhibition as a group,” says Nicolas Sarkozy, President of the French Republic. “I hope they will excite the interest of the American public in order to strengthen further the links between our two countries.”

“These two exhibitions present a rare and unique opportunity for Americans to see the evolution and incubation of the Impressionist style from the collection of the most important repository of French 19th- and early 20th-century art—the Musée d’Orsay,” says John E. Buchanan, director of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. “Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne, and Beyond explores the groundbreaking artistic developments that sprang forth in the wake of the ‘New Painting.’ It is an unparalleled visual experience, one made possible only when the most important repository of French art opens its vaults.”

Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne and Beyond: Post-Impressionist Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay presents over 100 of the Musée d’Orsay’s most famous late 19th-century paintings, including late Impressionist work by Monet and Renoir, followed by the more individualistic styles of the early modern masters including Cézanne, Gauguin, Toulouse-Lautrec, and Van Gogh, and room-sized decorative panels by the pioneering Nabis painters, Bonnard and Vuillard. The exhibition also provides a unique look at the Orsay’s spectacular collection of Pointillist painters, including work by Seurat and Signac. Notable works in this exhibition include:

  • A Dance in the Country by Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1883)
  • Self Portrait by Vincent van Gogh (1887)
  • Starry Night over the Rhone by Vincent van Gogh (1888)
  • The Artist’s Bedroom at Arles by Vincent van Gogh (1889)
  • Portrait of the Artist with the Yellow Christ by Paul Gauguin (1889)
  • Tahitian Women, On the Beach by Paul Gauguin (1891)
  • The Plaid Blouse by Pierre Bonnard (1892)
  • Still Life with Onions by Paul Cézanne (1895)
  • The Snake Charmer by Henri Rousseau (1907)

Each of the Orsay exhibitions will be accompanied by a catalogue, available at the Museum Stores in softcover ($34.95), hardcover ($55), and in a boxed set featuring hardcovers of both publications with slipcase ($100). An audio tour will be available in the exhibition.

Concurrent Exhibition at the Legion of Honor
Japanesque: The Japanese Print in the Era of Impressionism, on view at the Legion of Honor from October 16, 2010, to January 9, 2011, traces the development of the Japanese print over two centuries (1700–1900) and reveals its profound influence on Western art during the era of Impressionism. Culled primarily from the permanent holdings of the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, the exhibition includes a selection of nearly 250 prints by French and American artists of the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist era who were influenced by the Japanese print.

Tickets to Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne, and Beyond at the de Young are good for same-day admission to Japanesque at the Legion of Honor.

Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne, and Beyond: Post-Impressionist Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay is organized by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco with gratitude for the exceptional loan from the collection of the Musée d’Orsay. Presenting Partner: Bank of America. Grand Patron: Jeannik Méquet Littlefield. The Major Patrons of the exhibition are The Bernard Osher Foundation, the Koret Foundation, the San Francisco Auxiliary of the Fine Arts Museums, and Diane B. Wilsey. The exhibition Patrons are Athena and Timothy Blackburn, Ray and Dagmar Dolby Family Fund, John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn, William G. Irwin Charity Foundation, J. Burgess and Elizabeth B. Jamieson, Susan and James R. Swartz, and Douglas A. Tilden. The exhibition Benefactors are Hope Aldrich and David Spencer, William K. Bowes, Jr. Foundation, the George Frederick Jewett Foundation, Charles and Ann Johnson, Mr. and Mrs. Steven MacGregor Read, and Denise Littlefield Sobel. The exhibition Sponsors are Frank and Patricia Carrubba, Barbara E. Foster, Deborah Lee, and Mr. and Mrs. John P. Rohal. Generous support is also provided by the Lois E. Kalb 1986 Revocable Intervivos Trust, the estate of Hildegard Seidel, and the Walter Steinberg Revocable Trust, with additional support provided by Dr. N. L. Ascher, Mitchell Benjamin and Ricky Serbin, Mr. and Mrs. David H. S. Chung, Ransom and Nan Cook, Bill and Sonja Davidow, Juliet and André H. de Baubigny, Raj and Helen Desai, Mrs. George Hopper Fitch, Emma and Fred Goltz, Troy and Angelique Griepp, the Honorable and Mrs. Howard H. Leach, Mrs. James K. McWilliams, Greta R. Pofcher, Jeanne and Sanford Robertson, and Alan and Jennifer Varela. Education programs presented in conjunction with this exhibition are generously underwritten by the William K. Bowes, Jr. Foundation, Denise Littlefield Sobel, and Douglas A. Tilden. This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. Media Sponsors are ABC-7/KGO and the San Francisco Examiner.

Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne and Beyond: Post-Impressionist Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay was on view at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra December 4, 2009, to April 5, 2010. It will be presented at the National Art Center, Tokyo, from May 26 to August 16, 2010 followed by a final stop at the de Young.

About the Musée d’Orsay and the Refurbishment
The Musée d’Orsay, a train station created for the Paris International Exposition of 1900 and transformed into a museum by renowned architect Gae Aulenti, opened to the public on December 9, 1986, with a goal to highlight the art of the western world from the period 1848 through 1914. Its collection, including the building itself, is one of the world’s finest, comprised of paintings, sculpture, drawings, decorative arts, furniture, photography, and architectural work from this period consolidated from collections of the Louvre, Jeu de Paume, and Modern Art Museum in Paris as well as major gifts from private collectors, artists and their heirs. The Musée d’Orsay’s collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings represent the finest survey of its kind in the world.

In November 2009 work began on the refurbishment of the Pavillon Amont, to be followed by closure of the Impressionist galleries and the Café de l’Horloge in December 2009. The objective of the refurbishment, designed by Jean-Michel Wilmotte, is to increase function and capacity, improve visitor flow, and enhance viewing of the collections with more sympathetic light, wall colors, and architectural finishes. The rest of the museum will remain open during the work, while the collections are redeployed in the Gallery of Lille on the ground floor. The Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings will be reinstalled in their permanent galleries in spring 2011.

About the de Young
The de Young, designed by Herzog & de Meuron and located in Golden Gate Park, is the fourth most visited art museum in the nation. It showcases American art from the 17th through the 21st centuries, international textile arts and costumes, and art from the Americas, the Pacific, and Africa.

Visiting \ de Young
Golden Gate Park, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, San Francisco, CA 94118

Tickets for the exhibitions are timed and dated. Reservations for group tickets are available now at General public tickets are on sale now, $20 in advance and $25 at the door.