In October 2016, Marlene and Spencer Hays confirmed the donation to the Musée d’Orsay, with reserve of usufruct, of their collection, some 600 pieces from the second half of the nineteenth century. Exceptional by its size as well as by its consistency, this is the most important donation received by a French museum from abroad since 1945.
In 2016, the Musée d’Orsay presented, for the first time within its walls, the entire donation by Zeineb and Jean-Pierre Marcie-Rivière as agreed in 2010, the usufruct on which ended with the death of Jean-Pierre Marcie-Rivière on 6 January 2016. This generous act marks a major event in the history of French public collections
The donation includes 25 paintings and 94 drawings by Bonnard; and 24 paintings, 3 pastels and 2 drawings by Vuillard. Begun in the 1960s by André Levy-Despas, Zeineb Kebaïli’s first husband, the collection has been enriched over more than forty years by Zeineb and Jean-Pierre Marcie-Rivière. It expresses a tendency towards intimate subjects and mysterious compositions, even hermetic and caricatural at times. Musical evenings, unposed portraits, interiors with figures and urban scenes testify to the great similarities between Bonnard and Vuillard in the Nabi period. Paintings from the two painters’ later years complement this set of works produced in the 1890s.