Divina Creatura, women in art from Titian to Boldini
18 January, 2020 - 7 June, 2020€6.00 – €12.00
The exhibition will present over 90 masterpieces that will testify how the woman has played a leading role, in the history of Italian art, from the dawn of the Renaissance to the Belle Époque.
For four months, the halls of Martinengo Palace in Brescia , will be populated by elegant ladies, loving mothers, mythological heroines, seductive models and tireless citizens.
From 18 January to 7 June 2020 , the historic residence in the heart of the city, hosts the Divine creature exhibition. Women in art from Titian to Boldini , which will document how the female universe has played a decisive role in the history of Italian art, over a period of four centuries, from the dawn of the Renaissance to the Baroque, up to the Belle Époque.
The exhibition, curated by Davide Dotti, organized by the Friends of Palazzo Martinengo Association, with the patronage of the Province of Brescia and the Municipality of Brescia, in partnership with Fondazione Marcegaglia onlus, it will present over 90 masterpieces by artists such as Guercino, Pitocchetto, Appiani, Hayez, De Nittis, Zandomeneghi and Boldini who, with their works, have been able to represent personality, refinement , the character, sensuality and the subtlest nuances of the feminine hemisphere, paying particular attention to fashion, hairstyles and accessories typical of every age and geographical context.
Thanks to the collaboration with the Marcegaglia Onlus Foundation , it will be possible to learn more about the current social issues through special panels and media such as disparities between men and women, female labor, domestic violence, social exclusion and new poverty. The works of art will therefore become formidable vehicles to sensitize the public – especially the younger one – to topics of great socio-cultural importance.
The exhibition itinerary, divided into eight thematic sections – Biblical saints and heroines; Mythology in pink; Portraits of women; Feminine still life; Maternity; Work; Daily life; Nude and sensuality – will document the relationship between art and the female world to highlight how the woman has always been the center of the artistic universe.
“After the success recorded this year with The animals in the art – says the curator Davide Dotti – I decided to continue the investigation on topics of great social and media topicality choosing for 2020 the theme so fascinating and engaging to the woman that the artists, especially between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, have investigated from every iconographic perspective, eternalizing the “divine creatures” in masterpieces that still today inevitably seduce our gaze. For the visitor it will be an opportunity to make an exciting journey full of surprises, embellished with new paintings recently discovered in prestigious private collections, works never exhibited before and close encounters with famous women of the past, including the Brescian Francesca ( Fanny) Lechi, portrayed in 1803 by the great Andrea Appiani in an extraordinary canvas that, after more than twenty-five years from the last appearance, will be visible to the public again “.
“The new exhibition appointment, organized by the Friends of Palazzo Martinengo Association – states the President Roberta Bellino – is dedicated to the female universe, always subject among the most loved and popular of art history. A highly suggestive theme that will have an impact on the contemporary world. In fact, in collaboration with the Marcegaglia Onlus Foundation, we will study in depth some topics of great social relevance such as gender difference, women and work, motherhood, feminicides and new poverty “.
“Divine Creature” – concludes Roberta Bellino – is the sixth event held inside the historic Brescian residence which, also thanks to the exhibitions proposed by the Friends of Palazzo Martinengo and the support of Province of Brescia, has become one of the cornerstones of the city’s cultural offer, recording over 250,000 visitors with its exhibitions “.
Drawing inspiration from sacred texts and hagiographic books, the artists have fired canvases that are the subject of centuries-old devotion depicting the most famous saints of Christendom along with their own iconographic attribute: Magdalene with jar of ointments; Catherine with the cogwheel; Barbara with the tower; Margherita with the dragon; Cecilia with musical instruments. Without forgetting the biblical heroines such as Judith, Salome, Dalila, Susanna and Bathsheba, whose tormented personal stories are told in the Old Testament
Even classical literature and mythology have provided artists with endless insights, as in the case of divinity stories (Diana, Venus, Minerva, Juno), famous mythological figures ( Leda, Europa, Onfale, Circe, Dafne) and illustrious women of the ancient world who, with courage and dramatic determination, preferred death to dishonor. Consider, in this regard, the queen of Egypt Cleopatra, who decided to take her own life, after the suicide of her beloved Antonio, in order not to deliver herself alive into the hands of the bitter enemy Octavian and suffer public humiliation; to Lucrezia, who pierced her chest with the dagger after having been humiliated and raped by Sesto Tarquino; and to Sofonisba, who drank the poison sent to him by her husband Messinissa in order not to live a life mortified as a slave of the Romans.
Especially in the nineteenth century painting, the real protagonist of the exhibition, the woman was caught in her everyday dimension, grappling with the affairs of domestic life and work; as a loving mother who cares for her children with love; but also in mischievous attitudes and in intimate situations to enhance its sensual charge, as evidenced by the extraordinary masterpieces of Giovanni Boldini, the greatest Italian artist of the Belle Époque.
The Marcegaglia Onlus Foundation, whose mission is to support women, the growth and development engine of the entire community, through solidarity and cooperation projects, will offer schools 350 thematic courses of visit to the exhibition, with the aim of bringing young people ever closer to the fantastic world of art and, at the same time, making them aware of issues of great social importance related to the female hemisphere.
The exhibition is the sixth exhibition of the Friends of Palazzo Martinengo Association which follows the successes of the public and critics obtained with the Food in Art exhibitions from the seventeenth century to Warhol (2015), The Splendor of Venice. Canaletto, Bellotto, Guardi and the nineteenth-century landscape artists (2016), From Hayez to Boldini. Souls and faces of 19th century Italian painting (2017) and Picasso, De Chirico, Morandi. One hundred masterpieces from private collections in Brescia (2018), Animals in art from the Renaissance to Ceruti (2019), visited by over 250,000 people.
Silvana Editoriale catalog.