The musée des Beaux-Arts has dedicated a large part of its program of 2006 to Italian art. After “Mirror of time. Master pieces from the museums of Florence” it now looks at the major masters of the artistic scene in Bologna. This event, an initiative of the Louvre museum, and directed by Catherine Loisel-Théret, is part of an ambitious project of seven exhibitions organized through France from October 2006 to February 2007. It is dedicated to drawing in Italy in the baroque period, and offers a unique vision of the wealth of the patrimony of the French public collections.
The ideal virtues of the work of art
At the beginning of the XVIIth century, Bologna is the scene of an historical artistic reform, based on the practice of drawing according to nature. Surrounded by brilliant disciples, the three cousins Annibale, Ludovico and Agostino Carracci gave a new life to the great classic ideal of the Renaissance by adapting it to the sensibility of the Counter-Reform and the expressive demands of the baroque period. Thanks to them, drawing once again found the place Michel-Angelo and Raphael had given it: it is the chosen instrument that allows the artist to explore the visible world and at the same time it embodies the ideal virtues of the work of art.
One of the major poles of the Italian artistic scene
For over two centuries the names of Carracci, of Domenichino, Guercino and Guido Reni contributed to the influence of a city that became one of the major poles of the Italian artistic scene. Generations of French painters and art connoisseurs placed these brilliant Bolognese artists, famous throughout Europe, at the front row of the peninsula’s artistic Pantheon, next to Michel-Angelo, Raphael and Titian.
A panorama that spans over two centuries
The hundred eight sheets presented in Rouen make up a magnificent panorama of drawing in Bologna and the region of Emilia in a period that spanned over two centuries. The Louvre museum closely associated to this event by agreeing to an exceptional loan of over twenty- five sheets. But the exhibition has also been the opportunity for a deep search throughout France that has led to the discovery of various works of art unseen to this day, found in drawings chests of museums and public libraries.
Catalogue of the exhibition directed by Catherine Loisel. With a detailed note on each of the drawings presented in the exhibition, and appended an additional list of Italian drawings kept in the French public collections, as well as a bibliographic note. 24 x 22,5 cm Italian format, 264 p. Alain de Gourcuff publishing house. Distributed by Inter forum 35 €
This exhibition has been awarded the "Exhibition of national Interest " label by The Musées de France service in the French Ministry of Culture, and received extra funding from the State
Illustration : Gaetano Gandolfi Tête d’enfant: Mauro Gandolfi Black stone and red chalk, stump in red chalk and stump in black stone. Annotation in black stone: Mauro Gandolfi Lyon, musée des arts décoratifs, photo P.Verrier
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