Napoli Ottocento at Scuderie del Quirinale

Napoli Ottocento at Scuderie del Quirinale

Naples, from the Sublime to the Material

Napule è mille culure,” as honored in a popular Italian song by Pino Daniele, captures the essence of this vibrant city. Known as the Southern capital of the Boot, Naples is admired for its myriad shades and rich cultural tapestry.

From March 27 to June 16, the Scuderie del Quirinale will celebrate Naples’ crucial role in the European art scene, presenting the city as a captivating blend of contradictions and fascination. Through this exhibition, Naples, with its striking landscapes, traditions and rituals, emerges as the tópos par excellence, continuously attracting artists from around the globe and serving as an ethereal muse in the nineteenth century and over.

The exhibition, curated by Sylvain Bellenger together with Jean – Loup Champion, Carmine Romano and Isabella Valente, propose a selection of 250 masterpieces dedicated to the beauty and shades of Naples as an artistic center of the “long century” which begins with the heritages of the Enlightenment culture in the late eighteenth century and continues to the onset of World War I. This period is intricately linked to the emergence of modern Italy; that’s why the works presented in this incredible exhibition are so iconic and representative of the Italian peninsula.

Nineteenth-century Naples inherited both the cosmopolitan history of Campania and the realist tradition of the Neapolitan Baroque school

Sylvain Bellenger, curator
Napoli Ottocento: alle Scuderie del Quirinale un viaggio tra 250 capolavori
Franz Ludwig Catel, Veduta di Napoli da una finestra, 1824, Olio su carta montata su tela Cleveland, The Cleveland Museum of Art, Mr. and Mrs William H. Marlatt Fund
Napoli Ottocento at Scuderie del Quirinale
Edgar Degas, Thérèse de Gas, 1863 circa, Olio su tela, Parigi, musée d’Orsay © Archivio Scala Group, Antella © 2024, DeAgostini Picture Library/Scala, Firenze

A must-see exhibition celebrating Naples’ folklore and beauty

One of the digital frescos created by Kaos Produzioni under the direction of Stefano Gargiulo, welcomes visitors right at the beginning of the exhibition. The dramatic image of the Vesuvius erupting capture the amalgamation of two elements: the sublime sensation evoked by nature’s power and the raw, physical brutality of the lava terrain, transmuted into a form of beauty. Each section of the exhibition is finely designed to encourage the visitors to explore and admire various aspects of Naples.

From the fascination over the Vesuvius mount to the Greek heritage depicted through temples and sculptures, the museum’s first floor highlights the picturesque facets of the city. The splendor and also the decay have inspired artists such as Constantin Hansen, Silvestr Ščedrin, Karl Böhme, Ludwig Catel, William Turner, Thomas Fearnley, Eduard Hildebrandt, Hans von Marées, John Singer Sargent, the naturalist painters of Posillipo, Portici and Resina, Anton van Pitloo, Giuseppe De Nittis, Ercole and Giacinto Gigante, Teodoro Duclère and Salvatore Fergola.

Day trip to Naples and Pompeii from Rome

Napoli Ottocento at Scuderie del Quirinale
Gioacchino Toma, La pioggia di cenere del Vesuvio, 1880, Olio su tela, Firenze, Gallerie degli Uffizi, Galleria d’Arte Moderna di Palazzo Pitti su gentile concessione del Ministero della Cultura – Gallerie degli Uffizi

The second part of the exhibition places considerable emphasis on the Orientalism current of Domenico Morelli and the “Neapolitan” Edgar Degas, who consistently asserted his connection to the realist movement and resisted being labeled as an impressionist painter. Not everyone is aware of the Neapolitan origins of Degas but the French painter was fluent in the Neapolitan language learned during his childhood in Naples and was very close to the Neapolitan artistic environment.  Thanks to the generosity of the Musée d’Orsay, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Cleveland Museum of Art, Scuderie del Quirinale exposes five masterpieces by Degas, featuring family members’ such as his grandfather (Hilaire de Gas, 1857), his sister (Thérèse de Gas, 1863) or views over the gulf of Naples.

The final section is dedicated to the virtuosity of Antonio Mancini (don’t miss The acrobat and After the Duel among the others) who shifted pictorial verism to the subject matter of painting itself, to the informal art of Lucio Fontana, Alberto Burri and the Vesuvian painter Salvatore Emblema.

Best things to see in Naples

Napoli Ottocento at Scuderie del Quirinale
Joseph Mallord William Turner, Scena costiera vicino Napoli, 1828 circa, olio su tavola, Londra, Tate © Archivio Scala Group, Antella © 2024. The National Gallery, London/Scala, Firenze

Until June 16, 2024

Scuderie del Quirinale

Via Ventiquattro Maggio, 16

Opening Times: Everyday from 10am to 8pm

Tickets: Full € 15, Reduced €10-13

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