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7 September 2020

There is an exhibition at the Royal Academy (advance booking essential for those planning to go in person) called Gauguin and the Impressionists. This is slightly odd  as it should be called the Ordrupgaard or Hansen Collection, Ordrupgaard being the name of the villa where the sixty Impressionist paintings were mostly hung and Hansen being the name of the Danish banker and his wife who collected them.  This Manet was their favourite of all the paintings and although they lost more than one Manet during the Danish banking crash of 1922, they kept this one 'for its amazingly free brushstrokes, its greens running all the way from emerald to sultry viridian, its unshadowed joy in looking at the world even as life ebbs away' (Laura Cumming in the Observer). Basket of Pears was painted in 1882.

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