Venice: Pre-Biennale - MUST SEEs – Palazzo Ducale – Manet Returns to Venice exhibition. In the splendid rooms of the Palazzo Ducale, until August 18, the exhibition, Manet Returns to Venice is organized by the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia in collaboration with the Musée D’Orsay in Paris, it is curated by Stephane Guegan, with the scientific direction of Guy Cogeval and Gabriella Belli, eighty paintings, drawings and prints, some of which have never left France before, are on show.
Above: Edouard Manet - The Grand Canal, Venice, 1874, oil on canvas. Manet was already a famous painter, in 1874, the year of the first Exhibition of Impressionist Painters,was also the year of his third voyage to Italy and of his return to Venice which he immortalized in two small canvases showing the Grand Canal. In these pictures, we seem to sense the already very modern atmosphere of the late Guardi; in the small but masterly works, which served as a model for much Venetian painting towards the end of the 19th century, the air is so transparent as to make the blues and whites of his palette dance as never before.
Palazzo Ducale – Manet Returns to Venice. The exhibition arises from a need to undertake a critical survey of the cultural models that inspired the young Manet. These models, have hitherto referred almost exclusively to the influence of Spanish painting on his art, actually included much Italian Renaissance art, as the Venetian exhibition shows: alongside his masterpieces, there are a series of exceptional studies inspired by great 16th-century Venetian paintings, from Titian to Tintoretto and Lotto in particular. The exhibition also highlights, his close links with Italy and Venice. His Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe and Olympia (1863) are clearly variations on Titian and are both splendid examples of Manet’s links with Italian art.
Above. Edouard Manet – Olympia, 1863, oil on canvas and Titian – Venus of Urbino, 1538 oil on canvas. The exceptional juxtaposition of Titan’s Venus of Urbino and Manet’s Olympia highlights the special role that 16th century Venetian painting had on Manet.
Edouard Manet – The Fifer, 1866, oil on canvas.
Palazzo Ducale – Manet Returns to Venice. Between Music and Theatre room.
Edouard Manet – Masked Ball at the Opera, 1873-1874, oil on canvas. In Manet’s famous Masked Ball at the Opera, which was rejected that same year by the jury of the Parisian Salon, appears the same dance of masked lovers and ambiguous players that he must have known through the work of the Venetian Pietro Longhi.
Palazzo Ducale – Manet Returns to Venice. Eduoard Manet – Portrait of Emile Zola, 1868, oil on canvas and Lorenzo Lotto – Portrait of a young Gentleman in his Study, 1530c., oil on canvas.
Palazzo Ducale – Manet Returns to Venice. Eduoard Manet – On the Beach, 1873, oil on canvas. Painted during a holiday at the sea, it shows Suzanne from behind, absorbed in reading, and Manet’s brother Eugene in the same position he was portrayed ten years earlier in the Dejeuner. Both turn their backs to the observer and seem isolated in their thoughts. The painting, although painted outside, is a long way from the Impressionist spirit. The composition refers to Andrea del Sarto’s Madonna del Sacco; carefully copied earlier in 1857.
Palazzo Ducale – Manet Returns to Venice. Eduoard Manet – At the cafe, Study of Legs, 1880, watercolor on squared paper.
Palazzo Ducale – Manet Returns to Venice. Eduoard Manet – Berthe Morisot with a Bouquet of Violets. This is one of the four portraits of Berthe and one of his masterpieces. Here the intense, lateral light combines with the virtuoso use of blacks. The painting also heralds the pastels of the following years, linked to the representation of Parisian fashion of the time.
Palazzo Ducale – Manet Returns to Venice. Eduoard Manet – The Lemon, 1880-1881, oil on canvas.