Only a few days left to see the “From Paris: A Taste for Impressionism” exhibition at the Royal Academy (RA), showcasing masterpieces from the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. The exhibition is small (c70 works), as all shows are in the RA’s Sackler Wing, but what the exhibition lacks in quantity, it makes up for with quality of the artworks. The Clarks’ full collection is shown in Massachusetts and the masterpieces currently shown at the RA are on a 3-year international tour. Mr BB and I were lucky to see it in Giverny on the last leg of our Normandy trip in summer 2011. The collection is so beautiful that I went again.
Sterling Clark was an astute collector, trusting his own tastes in art, seeking only occasionnally advice from galleries. He married his wife Francine, an actress in the Comedie Francaise and lived in Paris for over 30 years and owned a farm in Normandy. He had an obvious preference for Impressionism: Renoir is probably the most represented painter in his collection with portraits, still-lifes and landscapes; masterpieces from Monet, Sisley, Berthe Morisot are shown, as well as Degas, Manet (don’t miss ‘Moss Roses in a Vase’), Pissarro, Corot (superb ‘Bathers of the Borromean Isles’). Also interesting were two paintings from Italian impressionist Giovanni Boldini. Aside from the impressionists and post-impressionists, there are three paintings from academic painter Gerome, including his mesmerising ‘The Snake Charmer’.
The collection will then move to Montreal, Japan and China so don’t miss it – the RA exhibition ends this Sunday.