Galleria Borghese opens the second stage of RUBENS! The Birth of a European Painting with The Touch of Pygmalion. Rubens and Sculpture in Rome: almost fifty works recount, through the eyes of the Flemish Master of Baroque painting, not only the relations between Italian culture and Europe in the years when, at the beginning of the 17th century, Rome was a cosmopolitan city but also the results of his journey to Italy in the first decade of the 17th century. In fact, it was thanks to his travels in Italy, and in particular in Rome, that the great Flemish painter made an extraordinary contribution to a new conception of the ancient, of the ideas of naturalness and imitation, becoming the absolute protagonist of the Baroque.
During the seventeenth century Rubens was in fact considered by his contemporaries one of the greatest connoisseurs of Roman antiquities. In Rome his drawings make the ancient works he studies almost throbbing, adding movement and feelings to the gestures and expressions of the characters portrayed. This process seems to anticipate the tendencies of those artists who, in the decades following his passage to Rome, would be defined as baroque. The presence in the city of painters and sculptors - such as Van Dyck and Georg Petel in fact - who had had the opportunity to train with Rubens in Antwerp, or who had already come into contact with his works during their training - such as Duquesnoy and Sandrart - guaranteed the accessibility of his models to a generation of Italian artists, who, in turn, were used to dealing with ancient works in the light of contemporary pictorial examples and on the basis of a new study of Nature. First of all, Bernini stands out: in fact, his groups at the Borghese Gallery, sculpted in the 1620s, take famous ancient statues, such as the Apollo of the Belvedere, to give them movement, translating the marble into flesh, as we see in the Rape of Proserpina.
The works on display come from the world's most prestigious museums, such as the British Museum, the Louvre, the Met, the Morgan Library, the National Gallery in London, the National Gallery in Washington, the Prado, and the Rijksmusem in Amsterdam, to name but a few.
The exhibition is divided into eight sections and emphasises the artist's extraordinary contribution to a new conception of antiquity and of the concepts of natural and imitation, focusing on the disruptive novelty of his style and how the study of models constitutes a further possibility for a new world of images. It is thus thanks to The Touch of Pygmalion. Rubens and Sculpture in Rome, it is possible to directly relate Bernini's large groups, the ancient and modern sculptures, including those by foreign artists, to Rubens' paintings and drawings, giving us an overview of that exceptional artistic period.
Photo: Peter Paul Rubens, oil on panel, c. 1614, 66.4 x 57 cm, Andrew W. Mellon Fund, National Gallery of Washington, USA
Dal 14 novembre 2023 al 18 febbraio 2024
dal martedì alla domenica dalle 9.00 alle 19.00. Ultimo ingresso alle ore 17.45
Chiuso il lunedì
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