Renoir: l’alba di un nuovo classicismo

  • When:   February 25, 2023 - June 25, 2023
  • this event is ended

Painting of the 19th centuryArt Exhibitions in RovigoPierre-Auguste Renoir

Renoir: l’alba di un nuovo classicismo

The one dedicated to "Renoir: l’alba di un nuovo classicismo", curated by Paolo Bolpagni, is a truly original exhibition that the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Padova e Rovigo announces in Palazzo Roverella from 25 February to 25 June 2023.

Renoir, one of the greatest exponents of Impressionism, focuses on the moment following the brief impressionist experience, when the artist, driven by a profound creative restlessness, decided to undertake a trip to Italy in 1881. A tour that began in Venice, where he was struck above all by Carpaccio and Tiepolo (while he already knew Titian and Veronese well, admired and studied in the Louvre); which continued for short stops in Padua and Florence; and which found a fundamental goal in Rome. Here Renoir was overwhelmed by the strength of the Mediterranean light and developed an admiration for the Renaissance masters. A further stop on the journey was the Gulf of Naples: Renoir discovered the Pompeian paintings, was enraptured by the beauty of the island of Capri and almost subjugated by the ancient masterpieces exhibited in the archaeological museum. Finally he went to Palermo, where he met Richard Wagner and portrayed him in an opera that became famous (but it cannot be said that the spark struck between the two: indeed, the composer allowed him only forty-five minutes of exposure).

The trip to Italy, rather than giving rise to particularly important works, was the herald of a sort of creative revolution for the artist, reverberating on the continuation of his production, which will culminate, in fact, in the abandonment of the impressionist technique and poetics, which it took place before the official dissolution of the association in 1886.
From the joie de vivre of the fun scenes of the Parisian bourgeoisie of the seventies, Renoir then moved on to an aigre, harsh style. Also taking up the lesson of Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, the painter, then in his early forties, recovered a clear stroke and attention to the volumes and monumentality of the figures, in the sign of a synthesis that enucleated a personal form of classicism, while the dominant tendencies veered towards Post-Impressionism on one side and Symbolism on the other. In the first two decades of the twentieth century Renoir then went on to give life to an art which constituted, while the avant-gardes were unleashed, an early sign of the new sensibility that would become dominant after the world war, painting in a powerful neo-Renaissance style, where the warm and sparkling tones borrowed from Titian and Rubens were combined with references to a mythical and classical iconography and with an exaltation of the poetics of family affections. Renoir thus anticipated various aspects of the rappel à l'ordre: a side worthy of focus, since what superficially appeared to many as an involution was, in reality, a premonition of much of the painting and sculpture that developed between the two wars.

The exhibition will focus above all on this second phase of Renoir's career, starting from the return from the trip to Italy up to the works of his old age, first highlighting proximity and tangencies with Giuseppe De Nittis, Federico Zandomeneghi, Giovanni Boldini and Medardo Rosso, Italians active in Paris, and then highlighting the originality of a production which was by no means delayed, but which constituted one of the first cases of that "modern classicism" which would be pursued by numerous artists of the 1920s and 1930s, especially in Italy, as will be highlighted by the comparisons that will be set up in the halls of Palazzo Roverella. For example with the sculptures by Marino Marini and Antonietta Raphaël (joined with Renoir's Venus Victrix of 1916), and with the paintings by Armando Spadini, Carlo Carrà, Giorgio de Chirico, Arturo Tosi, Filippo de Pisis, Luigi Bartolini, Enrico Paulucci.
The production of Pierre-Auguste Renoir starting from the 1880s will therefore be placed at the center of the investigation, which marked the beginning of a progressive departure from the impressionist experience. The exhibition will then follow the evolution of his painting in subsequent developments, from the classical and "neo-Renaissance" monumentality of the figures to the landscapes of Provence and the Côte d'Azur, investigating both the relationships with other artists and the "assonances" with those who, in the period of the "return to order", he will meditate and assimilate the lesson. In the exhibition, the itinerary will start from a masterpiece of Renoir's impressionist season, the great preparatory study in oil on canvas of the famous Moulin de la Galette, to then measure its increasingly clear deviation from that language.

The common thread of the biographical story of the artist's personal events will not be missing, also along the lines of the biography that his son Jean, a famous director, dedicated to his father in the early 1960s (Pierre-Auguste Renoir, mon père).

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Title: Renoir: l’alba di un nuovo classicismo

Opening: February 25, 2023

Ending: June 25, 2023

Organization: Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Padova e Rovigo

Curator: Paolo Bolpagni

Place: Rovigo, Palazzo Roverella

Address: Via Giuseppe Laurenti, 8/10 - 45100 Rovigo

More info on this website:

Facebook: PalazzoRoverella

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