venerdì 14 marzo 2014

'Veronese: Magnificence in Renaissance Venice’ opens at the National Gallery

'Veronese: Magnificence in Renaissance Venice’ opens at the National Gallery, London WC2 (020 7747 2885), on March 19

If you are in London between March 19 and June 15, you could visit National Gallery and see some work by the XVI century italian painter.

Here an excerpt of interview with Nicholas Penny (director of the National Gallery) posted by Alastair Sooke on the Telegraph website last march 12:

Veronese is not an unknown artist,” Penny says. “He is very well represented in the National Gallery [which boasts 10 paintings by him in its permanent collection] – so much so that you could say you begin to take him for granted. It seems to me that there is an opportunity to see him with fresh eyes. Every generation needs to understand really great artists in a new way.”
What does Penny hope that visitors to the exhibition will discover about Veronese? “He is a very dramatic painter,” Penny replies. “That has been underestimated. He is also a very beautiful painter, even when he is also being dramatic. His impact on the subsequent history of art was huge, because he has always been a favourite painter of painters. He had imitators throughout the 17th century culminating in Sebastiano Ricci. Tiepolo’s style is a deliberately modified version of Veronese. Then he was a favourite painter of Delacroix and indeed of Renoir.”

What did they admire about Veronese? “They always talked about his palette, his colour schemes, about what used to be called in English the 'carnations’: his beautiful painting of pearly flesh and blushing cheeks. He is a fantastic painter of the translucency of especially female flesh.”
Veronese is also known for working on a very large scale. His famous painting The Feast in the House of Levi (1573), for instance, is nearly 42 feet across. Now in the Accademia in Venice, it started life as a monumental Last Supper. When the Inquisition took exception to the inclusion within the painting of German-looking soldiers and “buffoons”, Veronese was forced to alter it. Cannily, he changed nothing but the title, so that it referred to a less contentious biblical event.
The Feast in the House of Levi will not be travelling to London. Nor will other colossal compositions by Veronese such as The Marriage Feast at Cana (1562-63), which is the largest painting in the Louvre, and which Penny “didn’t even dream of asking [for], because we wouldn’t be able to fit it in a plane, on a truck, through the door and on the wall – it’s gigantic”. But there will be several important and enormous loans, including The Martyrdom of Saint George (c.1565), which is more than 14 feet tall, from the church of San Giorgio in Braida, Verona.

As a result, Penny took the exceptional decision to stage the exhibition not in the Sainsbury Wing, where temporary loan shows are usually put on, but in the main galleries. “We are mounting it there because the paintings need the light, space and gallery height. The last exhibition we did that involved the upstairs galleries was Velázquez in 2006. I don’t think we are going to do this more than once every 15 years or so.”

To see the full article you could visit this website:

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