At Seattle Art Museum, a peek at Paul Allen’s landscapes

“Seeing Nature: Landscape Masterworks from the Paul G. Allen Family Collection” is an interesting mix, including the outlier Klimt landscape “Birch Forest” and the Cezanne post-Impressionist masterpiece “Mont Sainte-Victoire.”

If money was no object, what art would you buy? Four hundred years ago, European royalty went in for Italian Old Masters; altarpiece-averse 19th-century English and American moguls, by contrast, were eager to collect British portrait painting and trophies from the Dutch Golden Age.

Nowadays, the ultrawealthy are more individual in their tastes, with contemporary art commanding the highest prices and the most buzz at recent auctions. But in the case of Paul Allen, far and away the leading art collector in the Northwest, it’s a bit challenging to characterize his taste as the extent and nature of his full collection remains a state secret,…

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