Sergei Shchukin’s study in Moscow, 1913.
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One of the world's greatest private collections of modern art is to go on show for the first time outside Russia.The super-rich collector filled his Moscow mansion with some of the finest French impressionist and post-impressionist art, making a kind of Orthodox altar in one room with 16 of Gauguin's Tahiti paintings.His trove of 50 top-notch Picassos, 38 works by Matisse, 13 Monets, eight Cezannes and four Van Goghs that the textile merchant picked up on business trips to Paris, was seized after the October Revolution in 1917 . Lenin himself signed the decree to expropriate the works, before Stalin scattered the collection to museums in Moscow and St. Petersburg, condemning some of the greatest masterpieces of 20th-century art as "bourgeois and cosmopolitan".
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