Great art in Rome

June 10, 2006

antonello.jpgI’ve recently visited two exhibitions in Rome that gave me the goose pimples. I’m talking about Antonello da Messina at the Scuderie del Quirinale (until June 25) and Raffaello at the Galleria Borghese (prolonged to September 10).

Antonello’s exhibition is really something special, as for the first time in history it collects almost all his works, with loans from London, Washington, New York, Paris, Vienna, Dresden, Antwerp and even some Hungarian and Rumanian museums.

antonello2.jpgLittle is known of Antonello’s short life, but the gentleness of his Madonna’s, the strength and wit of his portraits of Gentlemen, the grief of the Crucifixions show us how he was able to successfully merge the Mediterranean colours of his beginnings at the Aragonese court in Naples with the severity of the Flemish painting and the preciousness of his Venetian maturity, making his work one of the highest point of the XV century art.

As if this wasn’t enough, the exhibition contains works of Bellini, Cima da Conegliano, Alvise Vivarini…

Raffaello’s exhibition illustrates the Artist in the time of his moving from Florence to Rome, when Raffaello goes beyond the teachings of his master Perugino while absorbing Leonardo’s and Michelangelo lessons.
The exhibition is focused on the Pala Baglioni (which contains the powerful Deposizione, recently restored). The Pala is reassembled for the first time in all its parts, including preparatory sketches and cartoons.

Raffaello.jpgAlso this exhibition prides itself with great works on loan from the Louvre, London National Gallery, Palazzo Pitti… Of Raffaello almost all is known and much has been seen, but seeing once more with your own eyes the formal perfection that for ever changed the religious iconography is really something that nourishes our soul.

And then there is the Galleria Borghese, with Bernini’s sculptures (Pluto and Proserpine, David, Apollo and Daphne) and Canova’s Paolina Borghese. If we add Caravaggio, Rubens, Cranach, Lorenzo Lotto, Tiziano’s Amor Sacro and Amor Profano, we are in for an overdose of Beauty!

Having said so, I still have three exhibitions to see… There is Modigliani at the Complesso del Vittoriano (until June 20). Then, really not to be missed, Gentile da Fabriano in, well, Fabriano (Ancona, until July 23). Finally, at the Galleria Nazionale di Arte Antica di Palazzo Barberini you can admire until June 18 a breathtaking Vermeer: the Love Letter, on loan from the Rijksmuseum di Amsterdam…

Will it be too much??!? I’ll let you know after I’ve seen them…

2 Responses to “Great art in Rome”

  1. heraclitus Says:

    “La più nobile specie di bellezza è quella che non trascina a un tratto, che non scatena assalti tempestosi e inebrianti (una tale bellezza suscita facilmente nausea), ma che si insinua lentamente, che quasi inavvertitamente si porta via con sé e che un giorno ci si ritrova davanti in sogno, ma che alla fine, dopo aver a lungo con modestia giaciuto nel nostro cuore, si impossessa completamente di noi e ci riempie gli occhi di lacrime e il cuore di nostalgia”. Nietzsche, ovviamente.

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