Greats of six centuries on show at Museum of Art Pudong
A visual feast transcending time and space, "The Greats of Six Centuries: Masterpieces from Thyssen Museum," is displayed at the Museum of Art Pudong through November 12.
MAP's first painting-only exhibition, as well as the Thyssen Museum's first international exhibition of significant magnitude since its inauguration, the exhibition gathers 70 masterpieces by nearly 70 luminaries, including Raphael, Peter Paul Rubens, Édouard Manet, Vincent van Gogh, Wassily Kandinsky, Marc Chagall, Georgia O'Keeffe, and Andrew Wyeth.
Chronologically tracing the development of Western art from the 15th to the 20th century, the exhibition encapsulates a plethora of pivotal art movements and styles including renaissance, mannerism, baroque, rococo, romanticism, realism, impressionism, post-impressionism, expressionism, cubism, futurism, Russian avant-garde, American modernism, art informel, pop art and American realism, manifesting a condensed yet rich chronicle of Western painting.
Many might be unfamiliar with the Thyssen Museum, the collection of which was started by Heinrich Thyssen, son of the German coal and steel magnate August Thyssen. After completing his first major acquisition in 1926, Heinrich continued to purchase reputed works by masters from different genres.
After his passing in 1947, his son Hans Heinrich, "Heini," inherited his businesses and most of his art collection, and took a decisive step in 1961 to start collecting modern paintings, which his father had ignored. The collection serves as living proof of the passion and commitment of two generations.
The Thyssen Museum opened in Madrid in October 1992, and the collection was acquired by the Spanish government shortly afterward. It has now become a key component in Madrid's Golden Triangle of Art.
This curated selection of works features an array of the Thyssen Museum's most cherished masterpieces: "Portrait of a Young Man" by Raphael, one of three artists at the apogee of High Renaissance, reflects the quintessence of that time, wielding a palette of predominantly subtle hues and the delicate light effects.
Another highlight is "Venus and Cupid" created by Peter Paul Rubens.
Besides being considered the greatest Flemish painter of the 17th century, Peter Paul Rubens was one of the artists who best embodied baroque ideals in his painting. This mythological piece is an outstanding example of the vitality and voluptuousness that characterizes his narrative paintings and the freedom with which the artist habitually depicts the female form. In the painting, Venus, the goddess of love, gazes at herself in a mirror held by Cupid, who has laid his traditional attributes – the bow, arrows and quiver – at his feet.
Also worthy of particular mention is "Horsewoman," a masterpiece by Édouard Manet, often cited as the father of modernism.
Date: Through November 12, 10am-9pm (no entry after 8pm)
Venue: Museum of Art Pudong
Address: 2777 Binjiang Ave, Pudong New Area