Art: Riches from Russia

One of the legends of modern art—its El Dorado, both in riches and inaccessibility—belongs to the U.S.S.R. It is the stupendous collection of early French modernist painting amassed on trips to Paris by two Russian millionaires: Sergei Schuhkin and his younger friend Ivan Morosov. After the revolution, Schuhkin fled to Paris, where, stripped of his capital and without his collection, he survived until 1937. Morosov died in 1921 in Carlsbad.

The two exiles' Cézannes, Picassos, Matisses, Gaugins and Van Goghs—356 paintings in all—were appropriated by the state and divided between the Pushkin Museum...

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