The story of Impressionism told through 50 masterpieces
Rome’s historic city center can now boast a new cultural spectacle with Palazzo Bonaparte’s grand opening on October 6th. Located in Piazza Venezia amongst some of Rome’s most iconic sights, Palazzo Bonaparte is one of architect Giovanni Antonio De Rossi’s most important works, and was once home to Letizia Ramolino Bonaparte (mother of the Napoleon Bonaparte). In honor of its ties to French Culture, Palazzo Bonaparte opens its doors to the public for the first time with the exhibition Impressionisti Segreti, a collection of 50 masterpieces of French Impressionist art that ranges from the works of Camille Pissarro to Claude Monet.
Upon entering the Palazzo you are struck by its baroque architecture and the eighteenth-century frescoes that adorn the walls. Walking through each room is a unique experience – the coming together of French and Italian culture; the rich history of the Bonaparte family and French impressionism, all with a view of the Altare della Patria with just a glance out of one of the Palazzo’s windows. The building and its exhibition are constructed by some of France’s and Italy’s most important artists, showcasing a combination of French elegance with Italian heart.
French Impressionism is typically defined by the paintings’ visual brushstrokes, its attention to light, and its subject matter reflecting the ordinary – day to day circumstances such as calm landscapes, domestic scenes, etc. The collection boasts works by Claude Monet, a founder of impressionist painting, including L’ile aux Orties (1897), which stays true to impressionist techniques which play with color by contrasting greys with complementary colors, such as violets and blues. Camille Pissarro, deemed by Jean Riwald as “the dean of impressionist painters, makes the exhibition’s list as well, particularly with his works Les Grands Hertres a Varengeville (1899), Gardener Standing by a Haystack, Overcast Sky (1899), and one of Pissarro’s earlier works, Au bord de la Seine a Paris. Le Pont-Marie vu depuis le quai d’Anjou (1875). To add to the list of the leading impressionists, Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s paintings are displayed, including Bougival (1888), which stays true to Renoir’s style with his free brushstrokes and use of vibrant colors in his landscapes.
The exhibition is called the “Secret Impressionists” because all of the featured paintings come from private collections that are rarely accessible to the public. Some have called the exhibit the “most important exhibition on impressionism ever held in Rome.” To find out for yourself, take a trip to Piazza Venezia and immerse yourself in this unique cultural experience.
Till March 8, 2020
Piazza Venezia, 5
Monday–Friday 9am–7pm; Saturday–Sunday 9am – 9pm
Entry fee: €13-16