One of the highlights of the exhibition - a painting by Cezanne
One of the highlights of the exhibition - a painting by Cezanne

Last chance to see the Ashmolean’s most popular exhibition ever

Clemency Pleming

The Ashmolean Museum will be holding a special late opening this weekend, offering a final opportunity to see its most popular exhibition on record. 

Cézanne and the Modern: Masterpieces of European Art from the Pearlman Collection has already attracted over 70,000 visitors, and is the first time this outstanding collection has been exhibited in Europe. This Saturday and Sunday, 21st-22nd June, the museum will be open until 8pm to give more visitors a chance to see the collection before it returns to the USA. 

Professor Christopher Brown, director of the Ashmolean, said: 'I am delighted that Cézanne and the Modern has been such popular and successful exhibition. The Pearlman Collection is one of the finest groups of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art to be found anywhere in the world, and the exhibition at the Ashmolean has provided a rare chance for people to see it here in Britain.'

At the heart of the exhibition are 24 paintings which span Cézanne’s career, showing the development of the artist’s treatment of fruit, trees and Provençal landscape. 16 of the works make up one of the finest groups of Cézanne watercolours in the world. 

Other highlights include Van Gogh's Tarascon Diligence, an unusual composition showing a stagecoach at rest in a sunlit yard, and Modigliani's distinctive portrait of Jean Cocteau. Works by some of the most famous artists of the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist movements are also on display, including pieces by Degas, Gauguin and Toulouse-Lautrec which demonstrate the diversity of their approaches to the human figure. 

The collection was put together by the American businessman Henry Pearlman, who was an avid collector of art until his death in 1974. He said of the first painting in the collection: 'When I came home in the evenings and saw it I would get a lift, similar to the experience of listening to a symphony orchestration… I haven’t spent a boring evening since that first purchase.'

Due to the unprecedented popularity of the exhibition, booking is essential.