The landscape from the seventeenth to the twentieth century
Verona, Palazzo della Gran Guardia
26 October 2013 - 9 February 2014
The second chapter of our exhibitions in Verona and Vicenza is dedicated to the history of the landscape in Europe and America from the seventeenth to the twentieth century. In an overall analysis of the main genres of painting, the first exhibition explored the history of the gaze and therefore portraiture but also the depicted body. This exhibition continues the overall project by narrating how painters studied nature from the seventeenth century up to Claude Monet’s Water Lilies painted in the beginning of the twentieth century.
Consisting of more than ninety paintings, loaned by major world museums and precious private collections, the exhibition will be divided into five sections to describe the key moments in the narration of nature as an independent phenomenon, separate from figurative painting. That kind of emancipation of the image when the landscape is no longer simply background scenery but is centre stage as a dominating, absolute divinity.
The exhibition will thus examine the most significant stages in a development that was to become increasingly important in the history of art and eventually became so mainstream that the nineteenth century was rightly dubbed “the century of nature”. Without stretching its scope as far as the umpteen minor, fragmentary experiments, the exhibition will concentrate on the principal currents. That is why the title highlights the idea of the enormous change introduced by Claude Monet in the second half of the 1860s, when he was busy painting in the Forest of Fontainebleau. By the various “series” in the 1890s and his last Water Lilies Monet had abandoned the albeit noble sense of reality which he and Corot had inherited from a centuries-old tradition, also featured in this exhibition. He thus broke new ground by depicting landscapes almost entirely from inner experience, although without ever neglecting reality. This paved the way to some of the finest new examples of nature paintings in the twentieth century. Monet is thus seen as having provided the paradigm of the new landscape, the point of crossing, bridging before and after. That is why his works account for almost a quarter of the whole exhibition. A real show within the show.
The five sections are as follows:
1. THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY. TRUE AND FALSE NATURE
2. THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY. THE AGE OF THE VEDUTA
3. ROMANTICISM AND REALISMS
4. IMPRESSIONISM AND THE LANDSCAPE
5. MONET AND THE NEW NATURE
The exhibition will begin with the crucial work of Lorrain and Poussin in the seventeenth century in order to document the transition from the false to the true in depictions of nature before going to the Netherlands of Van Ruisdael, Hobbema and others. We thus immediately encounter artists who were key figures for the new image of nature, as was in fact later revealed by subsequent developments in the eighteenth and nineteenth century. For the eighteenth century the first pause chosen is on Pannini, then we make a significant, stunning foray into the Venice of Canaletto, Bellotto and Guardi, to offer a compendium of the marvellous age of the Veduta.
In the nineteenth century the inevitably points of reference are Turner, Constable and Friedrich, who reshaped the idea of nature in the new romantic spirit. The various realisms then take us to France (and the Barbizon group), Scandinavia, Eastern Europe and the Hudson River School in America. At this point Monet comes on the scene with his inversion of the concept of the painted landscape, after having started from the typical elements of realism. He is flanked by Impressionist and Post-impressionist companions from Renoir to Sisley, Pissarro and Caillebotte, from Degas to Manet who precede the intense, radical experience of Van Gogh, Gauguin and Cézanne.
ask for a "Around Monet" weekend or holiday in Vicenza and Veneto to our tour operator: firstname.lastname@example.org