The Coulter Collection

The Foundation Louis Vuitton, has a temporary exhibition of the Coulter Collection of Impressionist works, and it’s excellent.

Samuel Coulter was an English industrialist (his company invented rayon!) who was also an art collector. He played a large role in the bringing Cèzanne to the attention of British art collectors and critics, and also built up a large collection of the work of Seurat. When Coulter died, in 1947, he bequeathed his collection to the Coulter’s Institute of Art.

There are so many amazing paintings to view in the collection, including Un Bar aux Folies Bergère by Manet and Nevermore by Gauguin, which I found both mysterious and unsettling.

The collection also comprises many studies, which are fascinating. Maybe because my only experience of painting has been as a child, I always imagine painters sit down, paint, and – boom! – there’s the Mona Lisa or Van Gogh’s Sunflowers or Monet’s Water Lilies. I was intrigued to see how many small studies artists make before they begin a major piece.

I particularly loved seeing Georges Seurat’s studies, as Bathers at Asnières is one of my favourite paintings.

Pêcheur à la ligne 1884

Seurat made over 50 studies, like this one, before he began Sunday Afternoon on île de grande jatte.

Cheveux dans l’eau 1883

Much of this study made it into the final work, Bathers at Asnières, but he replaced the horses with two boys.

One of my favourite paintings was this gorgeous watercolour, by Turner.

The Foundation Louis Vuitton building is also spectacular, designed to look like a giant iceberg floating through the Bois de de Boulogne.

I throughly enjoyed my visit to see the Coulter Collection. The exhibition runs until 17th June 2019, it’s well worth a visit if you are in Paris. I recommend booking tickets in advance. More information can be find on the website.

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