On view beginning Wednesday at Paris' Grand Palais are 200 masterpieces by the likes of Matisse, Picasso, Renoir, Degas, Cezanne, Bonnard, and Manet collected by American writer Gertrude Stein and her two brothers over one hundred years ago.
Considered shocking in the Steins' era, even scandalizing, these works by the turn-of-century Parisian avant-grade include Matisse's "Femme Au Chapeau" (Woman with a Hat) and Picasso's 1907 "Nu a la Serviette" (Nude With a Towel), paintings now considered classics of modern art
"Within a few years, really between 1905 and 1914, they put together the most fabulous collection of modern art that we can imagine," said Cecile Debray, curator of the exhibit "Matisse, Cezanne, Picasso ... The Stein Family."
When the San Francisco siblings arrived in Paris, they befriended Picasso and Matisse, for whom they became longtime patrons and promoters.
Along with artist luminaries, the literary circle of American ex-pat writers such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway revolved around the Steins' Saturday salons, a scene fancifully captured by Woody Allen in his recent film "Midnight in Paris."
Organized by the Grand Palais with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (where it already debuted) and New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, the show will travel to the Met from Feb. 1 to June 3, 2012.
The Paris exhibition ends Jan. 16, 2012