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A tale of two exhibitions

Why do we forget some paintings and cherish others?

Take two exhibitions. The first features great painters celebrating the joys of life in riotous colour; it is worth three hours of your time and probably a day-return to Paris on Eurostar. Beginning with a celebration of Matisse, Derain and Vlaminck, the current show at the Mus?e d’Art Moderne de la ville de Paris entitled Le fauvisme ou l’?preuve du feu explains that France was not the only place where, around 1906, modern painting was dazzling its way into public awareness. From Helsinki to Prague, Amsterdam to Moscow, exhibitions were broadcasting the new venture in colour, and painters from Munch…

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