WHAT: "Pioneering Modern Painting: Cezanne and Pissarro 1865-1885" at New York's Museum of Modern Art.
WHEN: June 26-Sept. 12.
HOW MUCH: $20. Free on Fridays from 4 to 8 p.m.
WHY GO: With nearly 90 works assembled from collections worldwide, the show is a window onto the development of two of Europe's most influential modern painters: impressionist Camille Pissarro and his student, postimpressionist Paul Cezanne.
A key feature of the exhibition is its pairings of numerous works by the two men, who often painted the same landscapes while living near each other in the French town of Pontoise. The paired paintings highlight the artists' distinct sensibilities and reveal important stylistic differences between them.
The show, assembled by MoMA curator Joachim Pissarro, the painter's great-grandson, heads to Los Angeles and Paris next.
DON'T MISS . . . Pissarro's reverent 1874 "Portrait of Cezanne," painted when the sitter was in his thirties. It depicts a humble Cezanne flankd by famous contemporaries -- statesman Adolphe Thiers and painter Gustave Courbet -- who appear to be shouting encouragements at the young artist. Two 1877 landscapes depicting virtually the same scene, Cezanne's "Garden of Maubuisson, Pontoise" and Pissarro's "Kitchen Garden, Trees in Flower, Spring, Pontoise," embody each man's unique style.
In "Still Life With Soup Tureen" (1877), one of the many apple-laden scenes for which Cezanne is famous, the disjointed perspective, geometric shapes and saturated colors diverge even further from nature and gesture toward the much-emulated style of the artist's late period.
EATS/SLEEPS: Exploring the new and enlarged MoMA can be exhausting. Fortunately, you can collapse across the street at the Warwick New York Hotel (65 W. 54th St., 212-247-2700, www.warwickhotelny.com), which has a "MoMA Package" from June 30 to Sept. 5. For $255 a night, guests receive a double room, a 15 percent discount at the restaurant Murals on 54 (in the hotel) and two VIP tickets to the museum (which allow front-of-the-line access). A two-night minimum stay is required.
To fully ditch the starving artist routine, treat yourself to European-style grandeur at the Pierre Hotel (2 E. 61st St., 212-838-8000, www.fourseasons.com/pierre). Its "Experience MoMA" package starts at $495 per night and includes lodging for two, a coffee-table art book and two MoMA tickets.
MoMA-related deals are also being offered by Hilton, Doubletree, Embassy Suites and other New York City properties in the Hilton network. For information: 877-692-4458, www.hiltonfamilynewyork.com.
EXTRAS: For Francophiles, New York City is a multi-course meal of cultural offerings this summer. Cruise over to the Brooklyn Museum (200 Eastern Pkwy., 718-638-5000, www.brooklynmuseum.org) for "Monet's London: Artists' Reflections on the Thames, 1859-1914." The show, through Sept. 4, features about 140 works by the famed French impressionist, as well as countrymen such as Pissarro and Andre Derain. The museum also boasts a collection of about 50 sculptures by Auguste Rodin, Monet's French contemporary.
Back in Manhattan, the "Chanel" exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street, 212-535-7710, www.metmuseum.org) fetes the French pioneer of modern fashion. From her two-tone shoes to her quilted handbags to her refined evening wear and more, the iconic designs of Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel take center stage through Aug. 7.
Simultaneously with Chanel, French artist Jean Helion spent the 1920s, '30s and '40s creating colorful and geometrical abstract paintings that were influential on the art scene in New York, where he lived for a time. "Jean Helion," organized by the Georges Pompidou Center in Paris, debuts at the National Academy Museum (1083 5th Ave., 212-369-4880, www.nationalacademy.org) on Bastille Day (July 14) and runs through Oct. 9.
INFO: The Museum of Modern Art (212-708-9400, www.moma.org) is at 11 W. 53rd St.
-- Seth Sherwood