Exhibition | Classic Beauties

Posted in exhibitions by internjmb on February 3, 2018

Looking ahead to the summer, from the Hermitage Amsterdam:

Classic Beauties: Artists, Italy, and the Aesthetic Ideals of the 18th Century
Hermitage Amsterdam, 16 June 2018 — 13 January 2019

Antonio Canova, The Three Graces, 1813–16.

The human body has fascinated artist throughout centuries. In the mid-eighteenth century this topic in art was been given a new lease on life due to spectacular archaeological discoveries in Italy. Artists like Canova, Thorvaldsen, Mengs, Kauffmann, and Batoni pursue ultimate perfection: even more perfect then the (aesthetic) ideal of the Greeks and the Romans. Many artists and elite youths set off for Italy, to see the sources of inspiration themselves. In the exhibition the visitor makes a grand tour along the finest examples of neoclassical art from the Hermitage. The exhibition Classic Beauties will offer a delightful journey through European Neoclassicism, including the unrivalled Canova collection with The Three Graces.

More information is available here»

The catalogue is published by W Books:

Thera Coppens and Arnon Grunberg, eds., Classic Beauties: Artists, Italy, and the Aesthetic Ideals of the 18th Century (Zwolle: W Books, 2018), 224 pages, ISBN: 978-9078653745, 30€.

Around the middle of the eighteenth century, Europe was enthralled by the archaeological excavations then taking place in Italy. Artists and young aristocrats from across the continent travelled there to see the country’s classical Roman and trendsetting contemporary art for themselves. The Grand Tour often lasted many months. Among those who made it were Goethe and the ‘Count and Countess of the North’ (the later Russian Tsar Paul I and his wife). In Rome, they met renowned artists like Pompeo Batoni, Anton Raphael Mengs, Hubert Robert, Angelica Kauffmann, and—most famous of all—Antonio Canova. In short, all the great names of eighteenth-century Neoclassicism. Classic Beauties allows readers to share the adventures of the Grand Tourists and meet the leading Neoclassical artists of the day. Their accounts and the book’s many illustrations—both of works of art and of contemporary tourist attractions—paint a vivid picture of a period in which the quest for classical beauty and the ideal nude was at the forefront of people’s minds.

Note (added 18 June 2018) — The posting was updated to include catalogue information.

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