Cezanne spearheads Rome celebration of 20th century art
French master featured at new exhibit in Vittoriano complex08 October, 17:28
Titled "Cezanne and the Italian Artists of the 20th century," the exhibition includes about 20 masterpieces by the French post-impressionist master who has been described by critics as a bridge between 19th-century Impressionism and the new forms of artistic expression that emerged in the 20th century, particularly Cubism.
The exhibition, which opened last Saturday and continues until February 2014, builds upon an earlier show focussing on Paul Cezanne and his Italian connections, which was presented in Florence in 2007.
This exhibition aims to document the impact that Cezanne had upon his Italian contemporaries and the works they created - from avant-garde art to Futurists working during the 1930s, curator and art historian Maria Teresa Benedetti says.
In his home country of France, Cezanne became the benchmark for post-impressionism, producing work that was very popular as he laboured to develop an authentic observation of the world through accurate representations via his painting.
In fact, his ramblings through the French countryside was likely his undoing as Cezanne died in October 1906 at age 67 from pneumonia which he developed during a walk in wet countryside.
That anxiety to translate the physical world around him - from the countryside, to the sea to the mountains - for viewers led him to create more colours and a more modern method of expressing the geometric essence of all things, said the curator.
His influence was profound on other painters, including Spain's Pablo Picasso and a range of Italian artists - from Giorgio Morandi to Felice Casorati, Franco Gentilini, Corrado Cagli, Giuseppe Capogrossi, Antonio Donghi and Riccardo Francalancia. Works for the Rome show have been drawn from public and private collections around the world, including exceptional loans from the Hermitage in Russia's St. Petersburg, Paris's Musee d'Orsay, the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, the Foundation EG Bührle Collection in Zurich and the Art Museum of São Paulo in Brazil.
As well, the Vatican Museums and Italy's Morandi Museum in Bologna joined the National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art of Rome and numerous other Italian galleries in making loans to the exhibition.
The 2007 exhibition celebrated Florence's ties with Cezanne and was an enormous success, earning some 50 million euros in tourist spending.
The exhibition in Florence's famed Palazzo Strozzi drew 260,000 people in its five-month run, thanks in part to the "innovative nature" of that show, organisers said.
That exhibition revealed the efforts, previously unknown, by two Tuscan collectors to spread the French artist's name after recognizing his talents and becoming devoted fans of his work.
Egisto Paolo Fabbri (1866-1933) and Charles Alexander Loeser (1864-1928) were both born in the US but settled in Florence after spending time in Paris.
They collected around 50 paintings by Cezanne, who was still viewed as something of a solitary and experimental outsider at the time.
The Florence show proved to be a unique opportunity to see many of these works together, as both collections were broken up after World War II.