Cézanne masterpieces shown in Norway for the first time before returning to The Courtauld Gallery in November

Press release, 16 July 2021

Masterpieces from the UK’s most significant collection of works by Cézanne will travel to Norway for the first time for a special exhibition at KODE Art Museums in Bergen as part of a unique collaboration between KODE and The Courtauld, London.

Paul Cézanne: Masterpieces from The Courtauld opens at KODE 1 on 16th July 2021 and will present a major group of paintings, together with archival material, from The Courtauld’s celebrated collection of works by Cézanne – one of the highlights of its world-renowned holdings of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art.

Following the exhibition, the paintings will return to London for the reopening of The Courtauld Gallery in November after a major three-year transformation project. There they will be reunited with iconic Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings from The Courtauld’s collection such as Manet’s A Bar at the Folies-Bergère, Renoir’s La Loge, and Van Gogh’s Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear.

During the 1920s, English industrialist and philanthropist Samuel Courtauld assembled the finest collections of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art in the UK, presenting it in 1932 to the newly founded Courtauld Institute of Art. He was particularly devoted to Cézanne, acquiring the largest collection of his work in the UK, including seminal paintings such as Still Life with Plaster Cupid and the celebrated The Card Players, which were formally owned by two private Norwegian collectors – the industrialist Gustav Adolf Jebsen and the shipowner Jørgen Breder Stang respectively.

In a similar way, Rasmus Meyer’s large collection of art was donated to the city of Bergen in 1916. It included a unique group of works by Edvard Munch and highlights from the golden age of Norwegian art history. The point of departure for the collaboration between The Courtauld and KODE Art Museums is a shared recognition of the importance of visionary collectors to museums today.

These paintings will be on display in the exhibition for the first time in Norway since leaving the country in the early 20th Century and will be presented alongside other major loans from The Courtauld. The exhibition will also present a fascinating display of contextual and archival material from The Courtauld, including a group of Cézanne’s handwritten letters, penned towards the end of his life in which he sets out his ideas about art.

Paul Cézanne: Masterpieces from The Courtauld is part of The Courtauld’s programme of national and international partner exhibitions, providing a unique opportunity for more people to engage with The Courtauld’s collection than ever before whilst the gallery is temporarily closed for the major transformation project.

The exhibition is curated by Line Daatland, Director of Exhibitions and Collections at KODE, together with Karen Serres, Curator of Paintings at The Courtauld and Barnaby Wright, Deputy Head of The Courtauld Gallery and Daniel Katz Curator of 20th Century Art. The exhibition is accompanied by a richly illustrated catalogue.

The Courtauld Gallery will reopen in November 2021 following the most significant modernisation project in its history, providing a transformed home for one of the UK’s greatest art collections.

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