From last March, 17th – a very important date for Italy – at Reggia di Venaria (province of Turin) it is possible to marvel at sculptural and artistic treasures gathered for the exhibition La bella Italia. Arte e identità delle città capitali (The beautiful Italy. Art and identity of Italian capital Cities).
Until September, 11th 2011, the greatest masters of Italian art with over 350 works which go form antiquity to the Italian Unity will be put on display in the wonderful scenarios of Citroniera and Scuderia Grande of Filippo Juvarra of the Reggia di Venaria.
The organization of such an exhibition was made by Luca Ronconi, Margherita Palli e Valentina Dellavia and with A.J. Weissbard (Lighting Design), in collaboration with Massimo Venegoni (Studio Dedalo).
An itinerary of 350 works coming from museums of Italy, all over the world and private collections, which goes from antiquity until 1861 – the year of Italian Unity – passing through the main “cultural capitals” before Unity: Turin, Florence, Rome, Milan, Venice, Genoa, Bologna, Parma, Modena, Naples and Palermo.
So, different traditions and cultures confront each other together with those artists who in the past represented them through their talent and natural genius: Giotto, Beato Angelico, Donatello, Botticelli, Leonardo, Raffaello, Michelangelo, Correggio, Bronzino, Tiziano, Veronese, Rubens, Tiepolo, Canova, Hayez, Parmigianino, Velazquez, Bernini and many others.
The exhibition portrays the various “Italies” that were called upon by history to turn into one. Italy is a country of “differences” and this must be seen as a further resource, an energy which join people.
Therefore, each capital has been represented by art works, documents and objects which are emblems able to tell and retrace the history of such different realities.
The section dedicated to Rome presents about 50 works portraying the myths of archaic Rome, symbolized in the famous painting by Rubens “Romulus and Remus” and , to the protagonists of classical Rome with the portraits and the busts of Emperors and the reliefs of Trajan’s Column. In addition, works by Bernini and Antonio Canova.
Florence is the emblem of Italian language of Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio, it is the collections of the Medici family, the enlightened court of Lorenzo the Magnificent, it is the cradle of Renaissance with Brunelleschi, Masaccio and Donatello, the new astronomic science of Galileo and much more…Just come and see with your eyes!
The section devoted to Turin hosts works showing the long historic happenings of the dynasty of Savoy, religion, policy and the image of power, great printing projects and collections, and majestic architecture that celebrated, with Juvarra’s genius, the passage from Dukedom to Kingdom in 1713. The last canvasses are by Bossoli and Tetar van Elven and portray Turin as the protagonist of Renaissance.
Genoa, beautiful and rich city, retraces its golden age as the financial and artistic capital through about 30 works, among which we find canvasses by Rubens, Strozzi, Van Dyck and Veronese.
Artistic testimony of the various cultures of Palermo, between the Middle Ages and the Modern Era, with reference to the studies carried out during the Risorgimento by the local historian Michele Amari and with precious local artifacts and imported Islamic items, and the 19th century painting by Giacomo Conti depicting the court of Frederick II. The section ends on the theme of the Sicilian Vespers in a painting by Michele Rapisardi.
Naples, in the vivid images of the common people in the works by Cerquozzi, Giordano, Traversi, and Miola.
Bologna, the second seat of the Papal State, presents here the remarkable painting tradition of the Courts along the Po river in the works by Correggio and Dossi, together with works by Guercino, Fontana, Bagnocavallo, Ludovico e Annibale Carracci.
From the area of the Emilia region, a specific section of the exhibition focuses on important works of art that exemplify the prestigious collections of the ancient duchies of Parma and Modena.
Milan, its great role in history and a widely recognized artistic, political, and economic center. Here we find an important selection of works illustrating the main events in Lombard history, highlighting its two-fold vocation as a center for intellectual as well as entrepreneurial fervor: Leonardo da Vinci and Donato Bramante; in addition, the world-famous famous Kiss by Francesco Hayez, symbol of the heroism of the Five Days that marked the start of the Risorgimento.
Finally, Venice is presented through the mirror image of its myth, celebrated in art across the centuries. The section represents the icons of the Republic, with portraits by Titian and the Lion of Saint Mark by Carpaccio, alternate with famous views of the city by Canaletto and nostalgic paintings by Guardi, and re-emerge in the hues of Tiepolo and the sculptures by Canova.
You can’t miss such a great exhibition, you have time until September, 11th 2011. Reggia di Venaria waits for you near Turin!
Further information about events in Turin are available on the guide About Turin.