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On June 3, 1952, Willem de Kooning, in the midst of creating the paintings that made him famous, was granted a private tour of the Barnes Foundation in Merion. More than two decades later, he recalled his amazement at the collection.

“In one room there were two long walls — one all Matisse and the other all Soutine,” de Kooning said 25 years later. “The Soutine had a glow that came from within the paintings. It was another kind of light.”

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