Exhibition at Complesso del Vittoriano in Rome
From 22 February to 8 June 2014 the Complesso del Vittoriano presents seventy treasures from the Parisian Musée D’Orsay in an spectacle entitled: ‘Musée D’Orsay. Masterpieces’. The exhibition brings for the first time in Rome extraordinary works created between 1848 and 1914 by the great French masters such as Gauguin, Monet, Degas, Sisley, Pissarro, Van Gogh, Manet, Corot, Seurat, and many others.
Curated by Guy Cogeval and Xavier Rey, the grand exhibition is cleverly divided into five sections.
It starts with a comparative study between Academic art acclaimed at the Salon from idealist painters such as Cabanel and Henner, and the originally rejected realism of Courbet. Particularly striking is the clash in style of the depiction of the human body, as a more realistic portrayal rivals the classic one.
The second section reviews the experimentation of artists like Millet and Monet, who introduce broken brushstrokes into landscape painting, paving the way for the Impressionist rendering of light.
Pieces in the third section focus on the portrayal of subjects of modern life. The realism of Alfred Stevens’ ‘The Bath’ is juxtaposed with Seurat’s pointillism in ‘The Circus’, reflecting the movement’s ever-changing artistic language.
Section four explores the sentimentalism of Symbolist works from Nabis artists, who focus on the art of portraiture as a way of capturing the psychology of subjects, giving the art a powerful emotive content.
The exhibition concludes with a look at the great legacy the movement has left behind.
Despite the somewhat makeshift, temporary feel to the exhibition, which frankly does not do justice to the stunning pieces of art on show, ‘Musée D’Orsay. Masterpieces’ is an undeniable tribute to the art of France, which has close ties with that of Italy.
The curators’ careful chronological arrangement of the art compliments the narrative style of the gallery: the small, almost claustrophobic rooms occupied by paintings from the first three sections reflect the general narrow-minded attitude of the contemporary population, before the gallery then opens up as revolutionary emerging forms of art become more widely accepted, and even appreciated.
From the free, bold use of colour and elongated format of Pissarro’s ‘The Old Road to Ennery’ to the emotionally-loaded ‘Visiting Day At The Hospital’ of Geoffrey and the unprecedented angle taken by Monet in ‘Celebration of 30th June 1878’, the works explicitly reflect the rapid social changes that swept through the second half of the 19th century.
The informative ‘laboratory’ at the beginning, and the few but detailed bilingual descriptive texts that accompany selected pieces add an extra didactic dimension to the exhibition, and allow the viewer to appreciate both the majesty of the classical art and the revolutionary characteristics of the avant-gardes, in their socio-historical context: ‘l’alba della modernità – the dawn of modernity.
You’re in for a treat.
Complesso del Vittoriano
Via San Pietro in Carcere (Piazza Venezia).
Mon-Thu 9.30am-7.30pm, Fri-Sat 9.30am-11pm, Sun 9.30am-8.30pm
entry fee €12/9 – comunicareorganizzando.it
Till 8 June 2014