Le catalogue Goering
Archives diplomatiques and Jean-Marc Dreyfus
He is a major figure of XIXth century Italian painting, but his reputation hardly went beyond his country’s borders. From beyond the grave he can find consolation in the fact that his Kiss is better known than he is and inspired, they say, the Baiser de l’Hôtel de Ville by photographer Doisneau. Francesco Hayez (1791-1882) received a very classical training, was inspired by Canova and became the incarnation of Romanticism and a great interpreter of historical painting. He alternated with penetrating portraits, large mural compositions, biblical paintings and even flower bouquets. This book, which accompanies a large retrospective at the Gallerie d’Italia in Milan until 21 February 2016, reviews all this surprising diversity. We could add that his career was as long as that of his compatriot Titian – they were both native from Venice – as he lived to the age of 71! One of his first known paintings (1807) shows him with his family, at age 16. One of the last, from 1878, is a Selfportrait at 88. The only thing missing in this book are the erotic drawings that were shown in London in 1997, by a man who was also a great seducer.
Review published in the newsletter #416 - from 4 February 2016 to 10 February 2016