Meet the Masters

The Mississippi Museum of Art brings French master artists Van Gogh, Monet, Degas and more to Jackson.

Claude Monet (1840–1926), “Field of Poppies,” Giverny, 1885. Oil on canvas, 235/8 x 283/4 inches. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond. Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, 85.499. Image © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

Written by Michaela Gibson Morris | Images Provided by the Mississippi Museum of Art

The Mississippi Museum of Art has opened a window into the world of French impressionists.

“Van Gogh, Monet, Degas and Their Times” includes 74 works from 19th- and 20th-century French masters originally collected by Paul and Rachel “Bunny” Mellon. In addition to the impressionists, the exhibit includes pieces from Cezanne, Gauguin, Manet and Rousseau. Visitors will be able to see the brush strokes and, in some pieces, observe how the painters overpainted images to change the composition.

Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890), “The Wheat Field behind St. Paul’s Hospital,” St. Remy, 1889. Oil on canvas, 91/2 x 123/4 inches. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond. Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, 83.26. Image © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

“I love that the exhibit offers such an intimate experience,” said Betsy Bradley, Mississippi Museum of Art director. “The Mellons lived with these pieces, and you can get up close.”

Edouard Manet (1832–1883), “On the Beach,” Boulogne-sur-Mer, 1868. Oil on canvas, 123/4 x 26 inches. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, 85.498. Image © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

This is the first time the Mellon Collection of French Art has been exhibited outside the Virginia Museum of Fine Art since the Mellons donated the collection, Bradley said. The traveling exhibit will be in Jackson through Jan. 11.

Edgar Degas (1834-1917), “Little Dancer Aged Fourteen,” model executed 1880 (cast in 1922). Bronze, cloth skirt with tutu and satin hair ribbon, 381/2 x 141/2 x 141/4 inches. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond. State Operating Fund and the Art Lovers’ Society, 45.22.1. Image © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

The Mellons began collecting 19th-century French art in the 1940s. The opening images of the exhibition were chosen to reflect Mrs. Mellon’s love of gardening and Mr. Mellon’s love of horses and horse racing, according to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841–1919), “Pensive (La Songeuse),” 1875. Oil on paper on canvas, 181/8 x 15 inches. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, 83.47. Image © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

Advance tickets are encouraged as pandemic guidelines restrict how many people can be in the gallery at one time, Bradley said. Visitors will need to have a mask.

Paul Gauguin (1848-1903), “Still Life with Oysters,” 1876. Oil on canvas, 21 x 361/4 inches. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond. Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, 83.23. Image © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

If You Go:

· Now through Jan. 11

· 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday

· 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday-Sunday

· 10-11 a.m. senior hour Tuesday-Thursday

· Tickets and information: msmuseumart.org

· Advance tickets encouraged

· Masks required

· Admission: $15 a person; $13 for seniors and groups of 10 or more; $10 for college students with school ID. Free for members and children under 5. Free for K-12 students on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Henri Rousseau (1844-1910), “Tropical Landscape,” 1910. Oil on canvas, 443/4 x 64 inches. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond. Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, 84.3. Image © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

Oxford, Mississippi | United States

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