A total of 58 works from Glasgow’s Burrell Collection, including a range of artists including Boudin, Cézanne, Corot, Courbet, Daubigny, Daumier, Degas, Manet, Millet, Pissarro and Sisley, went on show at the Musée Cantini, Marseilles at the weekend.

None of the paintings have been seen in France since the time of their acquisition and this is the first exhibition outside Great Britain devoted exclusively to the Burrell Collection. The paintings represent an important aspect of wealthy Glaswegian shipping magnate, Sir William Burrell’s love of French 19th century art, from realism to impressionism.

They include a landscape, The Château of Médan (c.1880), by Paul Cézanne who was born in the region, which is on display there for the first time since it moved to Glasgow. An acknowledged masterpiece, the Burrell Collection says the painting is all the more breath-taking because of its historic associations. It says that the  work was once owned by Paul Gaugin who ‘admired its adventurous composition and use of colour’ and depicts the house of Émile Zola, ‘possibly the most prominent French novelist of the late 19th century’.

“Our collaboration with the Musée Cantini, Marseilles, has provided a wonderful opportunity to bring iconic works to new audiences,” said James Robinson, Director of Burrell Renaissance. “The Burrell has articulated a vision that will enable the Collection to engage more meaningfully with international audiences, it is therefore extremely gratifying to see the very distinguished collection of French paintings released on the world-stage in these ground-breaking exhibitions.”

The Burrell Collection’s home in Pollok Country Park, Glasgow is currently undergoing a £66m refurbishment and redisplay that will see the museum’s public space increase by 83 per cent and gallery space increase by 35 per cent.

As part of the redevelopment plans and to support public fundraising efforts, international tours of its works have been organised (a first for the Burrell Collection since it was given to city of Glasgow Corporation in 1944) that will not only raise funds for the redevelopment but also the collection’s profile worldwide and promote Glasgow as a major cultural city.

Courbet, Degas, Cézanne… Chefs-d’oeuvre réalistes et impressionistes de la collection Burrell can be seen at the Musée Cantini, Marseilles until 23 September 2018.

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