Manet feted in museums, cinemas, from London to Venice

Doge's Palace exhibit shows Titian, Tintoretto's influences

Manet feted in museums, cinemas, from London to Venice

Rome, April 11 - April is a big month for Edouard Manet. Considered by many to be the father of modern painting, the 19th-century French realist has already been feted at the Royal Academy in London since January in a blockbuster show called Manet: Portraying Life, the first-ever exhibition devoted to his portraits. The acclaimed show closes on Sunday, but not before a cinematic exclamation point is added to its run Thursday with the anticipated screening of a documentary film by the same name in 30 countries including Italy. With dozens of showtimes across the country, the film is directed by Phil Grabsky, who's trying out his winning museum-to-screen formula for the second time since last year's Leonardo da Vinci: Painter in the Court of Milan, based on a hit at the National Gallery in London. Like the show, the documentary features 50 portraits and related works, plus a sort of virtual tour by the art historian Tim Marlow who discusses Manet with an array of respected writers, performers and artists, not to mention the curators of the exhibition, Mary Anne Stevens and Larry Nichols The spotlight on Manet shifts to Venice later this month for the opening of 'Manet, Ritorno a Venezia' (Manet, Return to Venice). From April 24 to August 18, visitors to the Doge's Palace will be treated to a collection of paintings from the Musee D'Orsay, which helped organized the exhibit. Some of the works are leaving the Paris museum, which boasts the largest Manet collection in the world, for the first time in history. The film and the exhibition in Venice each trod different paths. The documentary takes viewers on a journey through the life and times of the artist, from displaying his work at the Salon des Refuses in 1863, to exploring his love for Japanese art and culture, and his passion for Haussmann's Parisian boulevards. It also explores how his technique was revolutionized by new technology and the advent of photography, as well as by the poetry of Baudelaire and Mallarme', and the prose of Zola, not to mention his friendships with Proust and Monet. The exhibit at the Doge's Palace takes a surprising approach. While Manet's love for Spanish art is well documented, curators in Venice focus on how the Italian Renaissance also influenced his output. Thus, hung alongside his masterpieces is a tableaux of sixteenth-century Venetian painting, ranging from Titian and Tintoretto to Lotto. Curated by Stephane Guegan, under the artistic direction of Guy Cogeval and Gabriella Belli, the exhibition has been heralded in Italy and abroad as one of the must-see art shows of the year.

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