Exhibition | To Rome and Back

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on June 26, 2018

Now on view at LACMA:

To Rome and Back: Individualism and Authority in Art, 1500–1800
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 24 June 2018 — 17 March 2019

Ludovico Mazzanti, The Death of Lucretia, ca. 1730 (Los Angeles County Museum of Art, gift of The Ahmanson Foundation).

Over the course of its 2,000-year history, Rome has been alternatively held as the epitome of republic, the decadence of empire, the force of Catholicism, the artistic and literary birthplace of naturalism, and above all, the source of classicism. Despite these various, and ostensibly conflicting associations, its classical epithet—the Eternal City—reflects the symbiosis of these qualities and their lasting influence on republics, nations, religions and even continents beyond. For while Rome’s significance waxed and waned through plagues and progress, conflict and collaboration, its political, social, cultural, and religious power remained consistently strong throughout its history.

Assembled entirely from LACMA’s permanent collection, this examination of a significant moment in early Modern Europe reflects the donations and gifts from years of support to the museum’s departments of Costume and Textiles, Decorative Arts and Design, Latin American Art, and Prints and Drawings, in addition to European Paintings and Sculpture. These works reveal the depth of Rome’s impact from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment, before rising individualism, internationalism, and the optimistic equilibrium between secular and religious forces caused the city’s ultimate marginalization.

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