The Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (that’s a mouthful) is currently showing an exhibition on Georges Rouault and Henri Matisse – two students of the symbolist painter Gustave Moreau. The show begins with late 19th-century oils by Moreau and some early works by Rouault and Matisse while still students of the great maitre. The exhibition continues through several decades of art spread over five rooms.
I have a bias towards Rouault, since my work involves visual representations of religious subjects (and I gave a talk last spring on his Miserere series of prints from the 1920s). I must say, nonetheless, that I thought the Rouault pieces outnumbered the Matisse ones. A variety of works are presented, from woodcuts to pastels, gouaches decoupees (notably Matisse’s colorful Jazz) to book illustrations (both artists illustrated Baudelaire’s Fleurs du Mal at different points in their careers). These represent a half-century of artistic production on the part of the two artists with similar artistic beginnings and quite divergeant paths.
The exposition runs until February 11.