Autumn art shows run historic gamut

From Leonardo to Lennon, wide range of shows in galleries

Autumn art shows run historic gamut

Rome, August 26 - The autumn art exhibition scene around Italy will be rich, with shows offering everything from drawings by Leonardo da Vinci to watercolours by Claude Monet, to John Lennon's sketches for Yoko Ono. A vivid start to the season comes August 29 in Venice's Gallerie dell'Accademia, where one of the most anticipated exhibitions of the year is dedicated to the genius of Leonardo da Vinci, with 52 of his drawings - including the iconic Vitruvian Man - on display. Masterpieces from major international collections will be included in the most extensive exhibition of his works seen in 30 years, organizers say. From an earlier era come paintings by 15th century master Antonello da Messina on display in the contemporary space of Rovereto's Museo di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Trento and Rovereto (Mart), in the northern Italian region of Trentino. That exhibition, which begins on Oct. 5 and continues to Jan. 12, 2014, "is the most important exhibition of the (Mart) museum in 2013, not only for the exceptional works, through international loans granted for the occasion, but also for the unusual temporal scope," of the works involved, states Mart. In Verona, a selection of masterpieces by French impressionist Claude Monet are to be featured while in Modena's Galleria Civica, a collection of sketches by former Beatle singer-songwriter John Lennon will be shown, beginning Sept. 13 and continuing through Oct. 20. The Lennon collection will include 14 lithographs from his "Bag One" series, designed by the singer for his wife Yoko Ono as a gift to commemorate their 1969 wedding. A decidedly different collection of works - these, from "old masters" of Italian art - is scheduled to begin Sept. 13 in Prato as the Palazzo Pretorio reopens after renovations with the exhibition: "From Donatello to Lippi; the Prato Workshop". Continuing until Jan. 13, 2014, the exhibition "brings to life one of the magical moments of the entire history of Italian art," much of which was created during the 1400s in workshops that flourished in Prato, near Florence, curators say. The show includes 70 works owned by museums all over the world, including some of the most unique and indicative pieces of the early Renaissance period in which they were created - from such masters as Donatello, Michelozzo, Maso di Bartolomeo, Paolo Uccello and Filippo Lippi. At the same time, in the city of Ferrara in the Emilia Romagna region, the Palazzo dei Diamanti will show works by Spain's Francisco de Zurbarán - a painter who gained the nickname Spanish Caravaggio, because of the forceful, realistic use of chiaroscuro in which he excelled during the first six decades of the 1600s. September ends in Milan at Palazzo Reale, with some 60 works from the Whitney Museum of New York, including pieces by Jackson Pollock and numerous other American abstract expressionists who were active in the late 1940s through the early 1960s. The list ranges from Pollock, the undisputed star of the show that begins Sept. 24, to Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, Franz Kline and Barnett Newman, who represent a period of innovation in painting, particularly in the avant-garde movement in the United States and especially in New York City. Meanwhile, a series of exhibitions will open in Rome in October, including: "Cezanne and Italian Artists of the Twentieth Century" which opens on Oct. 4 with works by Paul Cezanne at the Vittoriano complex. Hopes are high for large attendance at a blockbuster exhibition on the life and times of Augustus, which begins Oct. 18 at Rome's Scuderie di Quirinale museum. Organized to mark the 2,000th anniversary of Augustus's death on August 19, 14 AD, the exhibition "presents the stages of the dazzling personal history of Augustus in parallel to the emergence of a new historical epoch", organizers say. The adopted son and great-grandson of Caesar Augustus, he was a notable historic character with tremendous charisma and extraordinary political intuition. "He succeeded where even Caesar had failed to put an end to decades of bloody infighting that had consumed the Roman Republic; and ushered in a new political season: the Empire," say organizers. The exhibition will attempt to reconstruct the sweep of Augustus's life and achievements.

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