Thursday, January 08, 2015

Venice: Museo Correr – The Poetry of Light

Photograph courtesy Museo Correr

Venice: Museo Correr – The Poetry of Light. The Poetry of Light - Venetian Drawings From The National Gallery of Art in Washington exhibition at the Museo Correr, until March 15, is curated by Andrew Robison. The superb exhibition brings together more than one hundred and thirty extraordinary drawings from one of the most important collections in the world.  It explores the art and myth of Venice, from the Renaissance to the 19th century. On show are a host of great masters, from Mantegna, Bellini, Giorgione and Titian to Veronese, Tiepolo, Piazzetta and Canaletto, together with a number of foreign artists who fell in love with the city, including Callow and Sargent.
Above. Canaletto – The Bucintoro at San Nicolo di Lido – 1765s/1766s – pen and brown ink with grey wash over traces of graphite, tip of the brush with black wash, heightened with a few touches of white gouache.

Gabriella Belli, director of the Civic Museums Foundation and Andrew Robison, senior curator of the Drawings and Prints Department of the National Gallery of Art of Washington.

The Poetry of Light. Bernardo Strozzi – Hand Holding Empty Glove – 1630s – red chalk on oatmeal paper. As Mr. Robison points out this elegant study is remarkably rare as only fifty drawings of Strozzi survive. He didn’t make drawings for collectors, nor finished studies in general, but only preliminary pen sketches or else chalk studies of heads or bodily details, which he inserted as needed into paintings, which were basically composed directly on canvas.

The Poetry of Light. Vittore Carpaccio – Groups of Male Figures, The Martyrdom of the Ten Thousand (verso) – c. 1514 – red chalk.

The Poetry of Light.  In the exhibition a carefully selected nucleus of one of the most important collections of drawings in the world, brought back to the Lagoon for an unrepeatable investigation of the creativity of great Venetian artists applied to graphic work: from Mantegna, Bellini and Carpaccio to Giorgione, Lotto and Titian; from Bassano, Veronese, Tintoretto, Piazzetta, Canaletto, Tiepolo and Guardi to the Venetian passions of “tourists” like James McNeill Whistler, Rudolf von Alt, Edward Lear, Carl Friedrich Heinrich Werner, William Callow and, above all, John Singer Sargent.  This fascinating voyage crosses four centuries of Venetian art, from the 15th century to the 19th, revealing the drawing skills of the finest artists of their time. And as a backdrop, there is always Venice: not merely as centre of artistic production, but also as subject, as source of inspiration, a perennial legend.
Above. At the Press conference projected on the screen; Giambattista Piazzetta – A Young Man Embracing a Girl – c. 1743 – Charcoal on blue paper heightened with white chalk.

  Photograph courtesy Museo Correr

The Poetry of Light. Preparatory drawings, quick sketches to fix an idea, models and studies for studio work, but also finished compositions, independent works able to offer a different poetic formed of lines, shadows, chiaroscuro, highlights, the definition of forms and movements, the translation of sentiments and visions, and the exploration of the infinite possibilities of light.
Above.  Francesco Guardi – An Elegant Couple, a Gooseboy, and a Gentleman – c.1780 – pen and brown ink with brown and gray wash over black chalk.

Photograph courtesy Museo Correr

The Poetry of Light. – John Singer Sargent – Gondola Moorings on the Grand Canal - 1904s/1907s. – watercolor over graphite on thick wove paper.

The Poetry of Light. Domenico Tintoretto – Venetian Ships Attacking Constantinople – 1598s/1605s – brush and tempera over some squaring in charcoal on dark brown paper.

Andrea Bellieni and Mattia Agnetti

The Poetry of Light. Maurice Brazil Prendergast – Caffe Florian – 1898/1899 – watercolor over graphite on heavy wove paper.

The Poetry of Light.  William Stanley Haseltine – Venetian Fishing Boats in Morning Light – 1871/1874 – pen and brown ink with watercolor and gouache over graphite, with white heightening on blue-gray wove paper.

Pin It