Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Venice: Palazzo Ducale: Henri Rousseau – Archaic Naivety Exhibition

Copyright RMN-Grand Palais (Musee d’Orsay)/Herve Lewandowski

Venice: Palazzo Ducale: Henri Rousseau – Archaic Naivety Exhibition.  In the Doge’s apartments of Palazzo Ducale right in the Piazza San Marco the exhibition Henri Rousseau – Archaic Naivety, until July 5.  Henri Rousseau, also known as Le Douanier, was a central figure in figurative art between the end of the 19th century and the revolutionary period of the avant-garde movement.  Famous for his dreamlike atmospheres; forests and enchanted landscapes, Rousseau (Laval, 1844 – Paris, 1910), has always been impossible to pigeonhole.  It is pointless to label his work: even the way the painter has been interpreted has most often been the result of a series of misunderstandings; and yet the force of his painting, snubbed by critics but appreciated by artists, is the expression of a phenomenon that has no comparison in art between the 19th and 20th century.
Above. Henri Rousseau - La Charmeuse de Serpents1907 – oil on canvas – Paris - Musee d'Orsay.

Henri Rousseau – Archaic Naivety. With the special collaboration of the Musee d’Orsay in Paris and under the patronage of the Soprintendenza per i Beni Architettonici e Paesaggistici di Venezia e Laguna, the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia, this extraordinary exhibition was produced by 24 Ore Cultura. It boasts forty masterpieces by Rousseau himself and sixty works for the purposes of comparison. The project, arises from an idea by Gabriella Belli and Guy Cogeval, (above) the exhibition’s commissioners, and shared and developed with the collaboration of Laurence des Cars and Claire Bernardi.
Above. Jean-Leon Gerome – Daphnis et Chloe – 1852 – oil on canvas.

  Copyright - 2014 Foto Scala, Firenze-su concessione Ministero Beni e Attività Culturali

Henri Rousseau – Archaic Naivety.  Such an event has never before been held in Italy. Through a lively sequence of thematic sections, the exhibition makes it possible to admire some of the French painter’s most famous masterpieces, including Self-portrait (1889-90). The artist considered the first “portrait-landscape” in the history of art, The Poultry Yard (1896-98), which was bought by Kandinsky and exhibited in the first Blaue Reiter show in Munich. The painting The War or the Ride of Discord (1894), above, painted by Rousseau with that innocent eye that Ardengo Soffici, a firm supporter, defined as being full of “child-like ingenuousness”.
Above-top. Henri Rousseau - La Guerre-La chevauchee de la Discorde - 1894 ca. – oil on canvas
Above-bottom. Giovanni di ser Giovanni detto lo Scheggia (San Giovanni Valdarno, Arezzo, 1406-Firenze, 1486) - Trionfo della Morte - 1465-1470 - tempera su tavola - Siena, Museo Civico.

Palazzo Ducale’s Camillo Tonini

Henri Rousseau – Archaic Naivety. This research has given Rousseau’s oeuvre the right critical and historical weight: the artist was a point of reference for the great exponents of the historical avant-garde movements, for intellectuals like Apollinaire and Jarry, for great collectors like Wilhelm Uhde, and for many painters who preceded and went beyond the Cubist season. Artists such as Cézanne and Gauguin, Redon and Seurat, Marc, Klee, Morandi, Carrà, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, not to mention Kandinsky and Picasso. All of these artists are present in the show with works that fit in coherently with those painted by Le Douanier in his brief but intense creative season between 1884 and 1910.
Above-left. Robert Delaunay – Football – 1917 - watercolor on paper.
Above-right. Henri Rouseau – Le Douanier – Les Joueurs de football – 1908 – oil on canvas.

Henri Rousseau – Archaic Naivety. Alongside the artists mentioned above, the exhibition presents a careful selection of Old Masters including Liberale da Verona, Fede Galizia, Frans Post and Francisco Goya, they offer a wholly new critical investigation into that inspiration stimulated by archaism, which over the centuries runs hand in hand with classicism and of which
Rousseau’s oeuvre seems to mark the watershed between 19th and 20th century.
Above. Artist Corrado Levi, who will be performing at Ca Rezzonico on May 10th looks at Felix-Auguste Clement – Pendant Les Fetes du Bairam au Caire – 1866 – oil on canvas.

 Palazzo Ducale: Henri Rousseau – Archaic Naivety - Prior-Hamblin School - Little Girl with Slate – 1845ca. – oil on canvas
 Henri Rousseau – L’Enfant a la Poupee – 1904-1905 – oil on canvas.

  Fortuny Museum’s Daniela Ferretti and the president of The Venice International Foundation's Franca Coin

  Copyright RMN-Grand Palais (Musee d’Orsay)/Herve Lewandowski


Copyright Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D.F.by SIAE 2015

Henri Rousseau – Archaic Naivety.  An “archaic candour” also emerges in the paintings dedicated to wild nature and in his famous jungle scenes, of which no less that seven will be on display – from the beautiful Snake Charmer (1907) to the Horse Attacked by a Jaguar (1910), as well as in his most bucolic views of countryside and town. His still-lives and astonishing series of male and female portraits (often of friends or family members) reveal Rousseau’s capacity for recording the life of the lower middle class, the protagonist of a peaceful and apparently innocuous suburban existence, and the characteristic force of a wholly unique and original artist.
Above-top. Henri Rousseau - La Noce – 1905 – oil on canvas - Paris, Musee de l'Orangerie - Collection J. Walter- P.Guillaume.
 Above-bottom. Frida Kahlo (Coyoacan, Citta del Messico, 1907-1954) -
Retrato de una Dama en Blanco 1929 – oil on canvas – private collection, Berlin.




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