Another famous Frenchman has taken up residence in Winona. On Sunday, Paul Cèzanne joined Henri Matisse, Georges-Pierre Seurat, Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir in the collection of the Minnesota Marine Art Museum.
Cèzanne's 1881 painting "La Rivière" is one of four additions to the Burrichter-Kierlin Collection unveiled Sunday evening.
An audible gasp went up from the audience when Mary Burrichter an-nounced that a work by Cèzanne, "one of the greatest painters who ever lived in any century," would be on view in Winona.
John Driscoll, of the Babcock Galleries in New York City, described Cèzanne's work as "the link between the 19th and 20th century art worlds."
Cèzanne's work "redefined what constitutes visual images," Driscoll said. His work demonstrates how "a picture doesn't have to tell you everything you already know" to be understood and to convey a powerful, visceral experience.
"La Rivière" is an early work from Cèzanne's mature period, Driscoll said. In his vibrant use of color and charactaristic "patchwork" brush technique, it shows Cèzanne as an artist who has found his mature voice at a time when he was "painting some of the greatest paintings that have ever been painted."
The Cèzanne and the three other works unveiled Sunday are all notable additions to the Burrichter-Kierlin Collection housed at the museum, Andrew Maus, museum executive director, said.
Maxime Maufra's Rentrée des Bateaux de Pêche (The Return of the Fishing Boats) painted in 1910, captures in bold strokes and vivid colors boats beating back into harbor amid choppy seas and gathering skies. The work is an excellent expression of the museum's theme of "art inspired by water," Maus said.
The Hudson River School of American painting is well represented in the museum's collection, Maus said, and the addition of Autumn on the Delaware by Worthington Whittredge is a welcome addition. "Wittredge is one of the few artists we didn't have," Maus said, adding that the river scene, glowing with the golden light of high autumn is "just immediately beautiful."
Marsden Hartley's Autumn Cascade joins Georgia O'Keefe's "Lake George, Autumn" as one of the collection's two abstracts, Maus said. Hartley was "an exceptional American expressionist" and one of the most avante garde artists working in the United States at the time.
The Minnesota Marine Art Museum opened in 2006 on River View Drive in Winona. The museum features works from the Burrichter/Kierlin Collection of marine art, folk art by Leo and Marilyn Smith and visiting exhibits.