Saturday, December 5, 2009
While the Musée d'Orsay in Paris undergoes renovation, its caretakers are sending some of its masterpieces on the road: a great way to share beautiful art with audiences around the world while raising needed revenue for the museum. Tomorrow an important show of 112 Post-Impressionist paintings from the Orsay opens in the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra, where it will remain until 5 April 2010. Artists featured in the exhibition include Gauguin, Toulouse-Lautrec, Cézanne, Seurat...and of course Vincent. Once more the Orsay has sent van Gogh's "Starry Night over the Rhône" (Sept 1888) out on loan -- that painting never stays in Paris for long, it seems -- and it is joined by the Orsay version "Vincent's Bedroom at Arles," painted in September 1889 while Vincent was in residence at the asylum of Saint-Rémy. Readers of "Sunflowers" know that "Starry Night over the Rhône" is one of my absolute favorites, so much so that I gave its creation a whole chapter. Here's hoping that Vincent's Australian fans enjoy the exhibition...and here's guessing the show will break Australian museum attendance records!