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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Matisse Exhibit Opens

A vast retrospective of some 400 works by the artist, Henri Matisse, opened Thursday in Moscow's Pushkin Museum of Fine Art's with an exclusive formal reception.

The exhibition, the most complete collection of the French artist's work ever assembled, opens to the general public Friday at 10 A. M.

The exhibition has met with rave reviews over the last nine months, first in New York and then in Paris. Its stint in Russia - on September 6 it moves to the Hermitage in St. Petersburg - is being heavily sponsored by the French oil firm Elf-Aquitaine.

Matisse has been popular in Russia since he appeared on the art scene almost 90 years ago. Some of the artist's finest early paintings were commissioned by Shchukin, his Russian patron. In 1910, Shchukin bought "Dance II" and "Red Harmony" from Matisse in Paris; both paintings are on view in the retrospective.

The comprehensive collection of paintings, sculptures, graphics and cutouts spans many of the artistic movements of the first half of the 20th century. It begins with his relatively conservative neo-impressionism and ends with his brightly colored cutouts of the early 1950s.

Matisse died in 1954 at age 85.