Art: Edouard Manet's Italian soul on show in Venice

25 April, 09:26

    Two of Manet paintings on show in Venice Two of Manet paintings on show in Venice

    (by Kate Carlisle) (ANSAmed) - VENICE - While 19th-century French realist Edouard Manet's love for Spanish art is well documented, curators in Venice have decided to turn the spotlight towards Italy and focus on the heavy influence of the Italian Renaissance on his work. An exhibit at the city's monumental Doge's Palace from April 24 to August 18 takes a surprising approach to the artist who is credited with bridging the gap between Realism and Impressionism in the mid-to-late 1800s. 'Manet, Ritorno a Venezia' (Manet, Return to Venice) will treat visitors to a collection of paintings from the Musee' d'Orsay, which also helped to organize the expansive exhibit. Some of the works are leaving the Paris museum, which boasts the largest Manet collection in the world, for the first time in history.

    Considered by many to be the father of modern painting, Manet has already been feted at the Royal Academy in London since January in a blockbuster show called Manet: Portraying Life, the first-ever exhibition devoted to his portraits. The acclaimed show closed at the beginning of April with a cinematic exclamation point - a much-anticipated screening of a documentary film by the same name that will tour 30 countries, including Italy.

    For the Venice exhibit, a tableaux of 16th-century Venetian paintings, ranging from Titian and Tintoretto to Lotto will be hung by the master's works. Curated by Stephane Guegan, under the artistic direction of Guy Cogeval and Gabriella Belli, the exhibition has been heralded in Italy and abroad as one of the must-see art shows of the year due to its unique interface display.

    Organizers said that exhibition's concept was fueled by the need for a critical survey of the cultural models that inspired the young Manet when he embarked on a career as painter early in life.

    The Venetian exhibition will highlight his close links with Italy and Venice, like his visit to the Grand Canal in September 1875 with his friend and fellow painter from outside the Impressionist circle James Tissot.

    While critics have long focused on the idea of Manet's direct descent from Spanish painters Velazquez and Goya, the exhibition builds a strong argument that they are by no means the sole source of his modernism.

    Manet's passion for Italian Renaissance art nurtured a fascination and intense bond with the country and especially the lagoon city. His 'Le Dejeuner sur l'herbe' and 'Olympia' (1863) are clearly variations on Titian and splendid examples of Manet's links with Italian art, curators say.

    Those and many more examples of the artist's profound understanding of the heritage of Venice, Florence and Rome are waiting to be revealed at the exhibit. (ANSAmed).

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