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Hayez, Fontanesi, Testori. Italian and European painting

Sara Mantovani February 13, 2012

It is official, winter has come! So in order to survive the freezing cold it could be good to take cover inside. Here two good options.
Inside Palazzo Magnani in Reggio Emilia, until the 29th of April you can see the exhibition “Charms of faraway lands. Hayez, Fontanesi and Italian painting in the 19th and 20th centuries”
At the beginning, it was the near East, the exoticism and seduction of the hammam and harems, the palm trees, and minarets, but also the deserts populated by bedouins and camels, or the colors of Magreb. Then the artist turned his gaze elsewhere, even farther away, towards the cultures and atmospheres of the far east, equally as exotic and maybe even more enchanting.And it is the Far East, the same that became popular thanks to adventure books filled with tigers or provocative opium smoke, the same that enthralled all of Europe thanks to the delicate blend of stories and of Japanese engravings, which is the focus of this retrospective dedicated to national painting in the 19th century. There will be many internationally renowned names involved.There are many artists represented in this captivating exhibition. The two stars are Hayez (1791-1882) and Fontanesi (1818-1882), a painter and engraver native to Reggio Emilia. The East in his works is both the near east, Mediterranean, not directly experienced, but knowingly evoked. Then there is far away Japan, where the artist lived for sometime, honored by its people, and which he hoped to honor in his work.
More info: info@palazzomagnani.it

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, Ragazzo morso dal ramarro

And the second option is in Ravenna inside the Museo d’Arte della città. The exhibition is “Flesh: Misery and splendor. The great European paintings” and it is dedicated to Giovanni Testori, painter, dramatist, journalist and refined historian and art critic, born in Novate, in the outskirts of Milan, in 1923. He died in 1993.

MAR (Ravenna city arts museum) continues its look at influential people in art history and critics.

The exhibition spans around five centuries, from the end of the 15th century to today, showing Testori’s wide range of work as a critic.

His debut on Lombardy reality painting contributed to enhancing Caravaggio’s predecessors. Among others, Foppa, Moroni, Cerano, Tanzio da Varallo, and Cairo and masterpieces such as “Ragazzo morso da un ramarro” (Boy bitten by a green lizard) by Merisi.

The 17th and 18th centuries are represented by a series of great artworks and masterpieces by Fra Galgario and Ceruti. French 18th century art is represented by Géricault and Courbet, who according to Testori was second only to Caravaggio.

The 19th century starts from ‘New objectivity” and expressionist realism with artists like Grosz, Dix, Schlichter, Radziwill, and Voll, and then up to Giacometti, Bacon, Sutherland and Varlin, who was one of Testori’s “discoveries”.

On the list there are many Italian artists, too, like Sironi, Marini, Manzù, Guttuso and his lifetime friend Morlotti. Then, the eighties, with the German “new savages”, from the founder Hodicke to Fetting, Middendorf, Salomé and the ‘nuovi ordinatori’ Albert, Merkens, and Chevalier.

Finally Paladino and Cucchi. A journey with many other treasures and master painters, from Soutine to Scipione, Gruber and Vallorz, to name but a few, and with a series of Testori’s portraits dedicated to him by his painter friends.

The exhibition will be open from February 18 to June 17, 2012
More info turismo@comune.ravenna.it

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