At the beginning of the 20th century, the Montparnasse area of Paris brimmed with diversity. You could hear English, Italien, Russian, Spanish, Polish and even Japanese spoken in the streets. Years earlier it was the northern Montmartre neighborhood that had attracted all the artists, but this changed when these artists began to migrate further south, to Montparnasse, in the 1910s. Even Apollinaire admitted that Montparnasse had become the new Montmartre — a quiet haven of beautiful simplicity.
An exhibition — entitled Modigliani, Soutine and the Legend of Montparnasse and currently being presented at the Pinacothèque — attempts to give visitors a glimpse into post-WWI life in Montparnasse, as seen through the eyes of expressionist painters Amedeo Modigliani and Chaim Soutine.
The collection brings together more than 120 canvases and drawings that evoke the creative effervescence of Montparnasse during this time. At this exhibition, visitors will discover the ubiquitous melancholy of Soutine’s tableaus, which betray his tragic childhood. They will also be able to study the haunting almond-shaped eyes that pervade almost all of Modigliani’s work. The subtlety and elegance of the Pinacothèque provides the perfect backdrop for appreciating these lesser-known works of art.
The paintings displayed in this exhibition come from the private collection of Jonas Netter, who has amassed many works by both Modigliani and Soutine. Although these two painters were very active in the 1910s and 1920s, they are not well known by today’s public. Now visitors staying at the Hotel de la Tour Maubourg have a chance to discover them at the Pinacothèque until September 7, 2012.