The art of the Serenissima

13 October 2006 - 13 February 2007

17th- and 18th-century Venetian drawings in French public collections

The Musée du Louvre is organising a series of exhibitions of previously unseen works, highlighting the rich collections of 17th- and 18th-century Italian drawings in French public museums.

The works will go on show from October 2006 to January 2007, in seven leading French museums. As part of this initiative, the Musée Fabre is mounting an exhibition of some 100 drawings by Venetian masters. Together, the exhibitions present a comprehensive panorama of the creative and artistic life of Italy's major political centres of the period, based on works in the reserve collections of French public museums and libraries. The event highlights the extraordinary diversity of graphic expression, the tremendous creativity of Italy's city-states, and their equally fervent artistic and political rivalry. The drawings demonstrate the extent to which regional artistic trends and styles persisted in Italy into the middle of the 18th century, despite the increasingly frequent journeys made between cities by the leading masters of the day, and the resulting prevalence of significant cross-regional circles of artistic influence.
Each exhibition features selected works from the Louvre's Department of Prints and Drawings, the home of one of the world's finest collections of Italian master drawings. The event presents a superb array of drawings by many of Europe's finest baroque artists: Pietro da Cortona, Poussin, Bernardo Strozzi, Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione, Salvator Rosa, Luca Giordano, Francesco Solimena, Gaulli, Domenico Maria Canuti, the Tiepolos, Piranesi.

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