French billionaire Bernard Arnault’s Fondation Louis Vuitton has announced that it is extending its blockbuster exhibition in Paris of Impressionist and Modernist masterpieces collected by the pre-revolutionary Russian arts patron Sergei Shchukin. Icons of Modern Art, which opened to the public on 22 October and was initially scheduled to run through 20 February, will remain on view until 5 March. The opening hours will also be extended in the final week from 7am to 11pm.
Featuring 130 works by artists such as Picasso, Matisse and Gauguin, the show has already drawn over 600,000 visitors, the foundation said in a press release on 9 January. The display brings Shchukin’s collection together for the first time since it was seized by the Soviet state after the Bolshevik Revolution and ultimately divided between the State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow and the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg.
Shchukin’s French grandson, André-MarcDelocque Fourcaud, worked for years to organise an exhibition of the collection and finally succeeded with the backing of Arnault, the chief executive of the luxury firm LVMH. Putin did not attend the show’s opening after Russia’s international relations deteriorated due to events in Syria, but he thanked the luxury goods titan and art collector personally at the Kremlin on 24 November. A photograph of their meeting was posted on the Kremlin’s website, which stated that the “president expressed gratitude to Mr Arnault” for organising the exhibition.