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Sprezzatura – Fifty Years of Virtuoso Italian Painting

From 2 June to 3 November 2019, over seventy Italian masterpieces will shine in the exhibition wing of the Drents Museum in Assen. The exhibition Sprezzatura – Fifty Years of Italian Painting (1860-1910) spotlights works by no less than forty painters from all over Italy, including Antonio Mancini, Federico Zandomeneghi, Giovanni Segantini, Giacomo Favretto, and Giuseppe Pellizza. The Drents Museum aims to acquaint the Dutch public with the unprecedented quality and beauty of nineteenth-century Italian painting. The loans are mostly from prominent museums, including the Uffizi Museum in Florence, and many have never before been seen in the Netherlands. 

A Surprising Look at Italian Art
Sprezzatura offers a surprising look at Italian art, our image of which is generally associated with Roman antiquity, the Renaissance, and the Baroque era. This survey of fifty years of nineteenth-century Italian painting introduces visitors to the leading art academies, movements, and genres of Italian art from this period, revealing just how masterful, powerful, and fascinating it is. ‘Sprezzatura’ is an old Italian word with multiple meanings, including 'virtuosity.' To do something with ‘sprezzatura’ means acting with such verve and studied carelessness as to be utterly convincing. 

The Exhibition
Sprezzatura calls attention to various groups and styles that laid the foundation for twentieth-century Italian art, while also exploring the history, music, and literature of this period. This provides context with respect to historical events, clarifying the connection between art and societal developments in unified Italy (from 1861). The exhibition is designed by Studio Berry Slok, Amsterdam, and accompanied by an extensive programme of related activities. 

Paintings from Prestigious Italian Collections
The paintings in the exhibition come from prominent museums throughout Italy: from Milan, Venice, Turin, and Florence to Rome, Naples, and Palermo. For this show the Drents Museum is collaborating with the Gallerie degli Uffizi (Florence), the Galleria d’Arte Moderna di Palazzo Pitti (Florence), the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea (Rome), the Galleria d'Arte Moderna di Torino (Turin), the Galleria d’Arte Moderna di Venezia a Ca’Pesaro (Venice), and the Collezione Balzan (Badia Polesine).

Art around 1900 in an International Perspective
Sprezzatura – Fifty Years of Italian Painting (1860-1910) is the third instalment in the series of exhibitions exploring ‘Art around 1900 in an International Perspective.’ Previous exhibitions in this series were The Glasgow Boys – Scottish Impressionism 1880-1900 (2015) and Peredvizhniki – Russian Realism and Repin (2016).

Sprezzatura is accompanied by a publication of the same title, published by WBOOKS (Zwolle), available from 2 June in the Drents Museum shop for € 24.95.

Press Photograph
Click on the image below to enlarge it.

 

 

 

Credits: 
-Filippo Palizzi, Girl Lying on a Cliff in Sorrento (detail), 1871, Collezione Fondazione Internazionale Balzan, Badia Polesine. International Balzan Prize Foundation, Zurich. © Collezione Balzan @ Badia Polesine/Italy
-(left) Federico Zandomeneghi, In Bed (detail), 1878, Gallerie degli Uffizi, Galleria d'arte moderna di Palazzo Pitti, Firenze. © Dipartimento fotografico delle Gallerie degli Uffizi
-(right) Giacomo Favretto, An Encounter (detail), 1880, Collezione Fondazione Internazionale Balzan, Badia Polesine International Balzan Prize Foundation, Zurich. © Collezione Balzan @ Badia Polesine/Italy 
-(left) Plinio Nomellini, Learning to Read (detail), 1906, Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Milano. © Umberto Armiraglio
-(right) Giuseppe Pellizza, The Ring Dance, c. 1906, Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Milano. © Umberto Armiraglio