Exhibition | Montepulciano and the Eternal City

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on July 18, 2018

Now on view in Montepulciano:

Montepulciano and the Eternal City: Landscapes and Views from the Aesthetics of the Grand Tour to the Mid-Twentieth Century
Museo Civico – Pinacoteca Crociani di Montepulciano, 15 June — 7 October 2018

Curated by Roberto Longi

The exhibition, on view in the Crociani Civic Museum and Picture Gallery of Montepulciano from July 14th to October 7th, compares Rome and the Roman countryside with Montepulciano and its rural outskirts, through more than one hundred oil paintings, drawings, watercolours, and engravings by artists such as Labruzzi, Pacetti, Sartorio, Petrassi, Ranieri Rossi, and Ettore Roesler Franz. Of particular interest are works depicting the views of Rome and the Montepulciano countryside by foreign artists who saw the Grand Tour as a paradigm shift—the Spanish Juan Gimenez Martin, the English Samuel Prout, the Bavarian Karl Lindemann-Frommel, and the Swiss watercolourist Salomon Corrodi, who painted several views for Tsar Nicholas I and Queen Victoria.

In addition to the paintings, the exhibition includes a selection of materials which, carried by a servant, accompanied tourists on their long journeys, providing records of a time and a lifestyle: a travel writing desk, portable inkwells, medicine chests—essential in times of malaria—and tools used to prepare snacks for the journey. The noble traveller had to be perfect on all occasions; hence an iron for ties, a jewelry box, and a fragrance holder, as well as a scale for weighing coins and a travel chessboard to enliven any boring evenings at inns. A walking stick could serve as a good defense weapon or preserve a secret reserve of fine liqueur. The final section of the exhibition presents the working tools of the travelling artists: oil colours and watercolours boxes, palettes and materials for graphic techniques, travel sketchbooks, and folders. The exhibition relies on two important Roman collections and several private collections from Montepulciano.

Roberto Longi, Montepulciano e la Città Eterna: Paesaggi e vedute dall’estetica del Grand Tour alla metà del XX secolo (Rome: C&P Adver Effigi, 2018), 160 pages, ISBN: 978-8864339054, $43.

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