Barbizon Exhibition in China
Galerie Michael • March 26, 2018
Dear Galerie Michael Family, Greetings from Beverly Hills!
After nearly five decades as a fine art dealer, I have come to the conclusion that there is no greater joy for me than to share my passion for art and expertise with new audiences internationally. I count my blessings each and every time that I get the opportunity to share the magic of 19th Century French Painting, particularly the treasures from the Barbizon School. This key period in art history served as the pivotal bridge between early 19th Century academic art and the birth of impressionism. For me, the recent opportunity to Co-Organize and curate a special travelling exhibition in mainland China has been one the most humbling honors and adventures I have experienced as a dealer.
Our recent exhibition The Barbizon School, which opened on March 16th at the prestigious Quan Shanshi Art Center/Museum was featured in Hangzhou, a city of 20 million people. Countless thousands of eager visitors made their way into the city to experience the exhibition, we were ecstatic to see hundreds lined up around the block just before the official opening! Highly venerated Chinese and international scholars praised the show for its dynamic display and assortment of rare 19th Century and Barbizon paintings. It was an absolute pleasure and highlight of my trip to meet Cao Yiqiang, Doctor of Philosophy at Oxford University. Doctor Yiquiang and his esteemed colleagues were entranced with the sheer scope of our exhibition, focusing on the work of Corot, Rousseau, Diaz de la Pena, Dupre and Breton, Troyon and Jacque (among many others).
Focusing on the 19th Century Renaissance that was the Barbizon School, the exhibitions resounding success can be attributed to the newly found appreciation for European Fine Art in China. The increasing demand within China for the very best art available has led to the logical conclusion: Barbizon affords the collector an unprecedented value, the opportunity to acquire top tier works at still relatively underappreciated prices.
New wealth and financial success in China has led to the emergence of a curious and increasingly well educated collector class hungry for new areas of artistic connoisseurship. Chinese billionaires and millionaires are eager to acquire top tier work by the most important artists worldwide. Over -hyped art, created exclusively for monetary gain has saturated the Chinese market over the past decade, and unfortunately collectors have been aggressively obtaining this art, without discretion, connoisseurship or guidance.
Exhibitions such as The Barbizon School are a breath of fresh air for the Chinese people and collector, as the art historical importance and resonance of the work is now being shared with a new audience. It is our intent with the exhibition the Barbizon School– to push away from the dangerous trend of buying art based on a label, and guide a new generation of Chinese Collector into Museum Quality works, one work at a time.
Sincerely, Michael Schwartz
Chairman and CEO
Galerie Michael Inc.