Friday December 4 was a day of relaxation for Stephane Guegan, the director of cultural services at the Musee d’Orsay in Paris. Charged with the delivery of 112 of Musee d’Orsay's best post–impressionist paintings half way across the world for the National Gallery of Australia’s exhibition Masterpieces from Paris, the exhibition had opened.
Described as the creme de la crème of the French museum’s collection, Mousier Guegan claimed that a decent night's sleep became elusive from the moment he first saw the insurance valuations of the works listed on paper - and that was before he even left Paris. For included amongst the 122 paintings are seven van Goghs, nine Gauguins, eight Cezannes and five Monets.
This exhibition of priceless paintings, which also includes works by Georges Seurat, Pierre Bonnard, Douanier Rousseau and Edouard Vuillard, are on loan whilst the Musee d’Orsay renovates its post-impressionist galleries. It is the first time they have been brought together in an exhibition outside of France.
After the Australian exhibition, which closes on April 5, 2010, Mousier Guegan will be faced with more disturbed nights as his charges travel to Tokyo and San Francisco before returning to the walls of the Musee d’Orsay.
More information about the Masterpieces from Paris can be found at the National Gallery of Australia’s web site, here.