|The Palace; white and pink (1879/80) by James McNeil Whistler|
|Punchinello released from prison (1798-1802) by Giandomenico Tiepolo|
Venice has always been an international city, so included in the exhibition are not only Venetian artists, but artists from abroad who traveled to Venice and were touched by the light -- which means artists such as the German Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) and Americans James Whistler (1834-1903) and John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) are represented. In addition, the Gallery considers all unprinted works of art on paper to be drawings, including watercolors and pastels, and considers not only the city of Venice in the term "Venetian," but all drawings made in the Veneto, not only by Venetians, but also by artists born and trained elsewhere. (I agree with that broad definition. It feels right.)
|An Oriental Ruler Seated on His Throne (1495) by Albrecht Dürer|
In 1937, Andrew Mellon donated his private art collection plus $10 million for construction to create the National Gallery of Art, which is free of charge, for the people of the United States. He believed that the United States should have a national art gallery equal to those of other great nations. Mellon insisted that the museum not bear his name to encourage other collectors to donate their treasures. His foresight worked. Before the Gallery opened, other major donors were already giving their collections. To read more about the National Gallery of Art, click HERE.
If I tallied correctly, there are works by 74 artists on show: Andrea Mantegna, Giovanni Bellini and Vittore Carpaccio are there. Lorenzo Lotto and Titian. Jacopo Tintoretto, Paolo Veronese and Palma il Giovane. No less than twelve works by Giambattista Tiepolo. The number and quality of artists inspired by Venice is astonishing. The National Gallery has been building its collection of Venetian drawings since before it opened its doors to the public on March 17, 1941, starting with the "ravishing" Rosalba Carriera pastel given by Samuel H. Kress in 1939.
|Giovedi Grasso Festival Before the Ducal Palace (1765/77) by Canaletto|
Senior Curator of Prints and Drawings,
National Gallery of Art, Washington
|Portrait of a boy in profile, 1440s by Giovanni Badile|
|A Magnificent Palatial Interior (1748/52) by Giambattista Piranesi|
I also spoke with Andrew Robison, whose passion for culture is contagious. I told him how thrilled I was that the United States had brought such an exhibition to Venice, and what a pleasure it was to meet like-minded Americans. Robison said that it was important to show that the US does not only lead when it comes to the military, but that we can also be leaders in culture.
|Gondola Moorings on the Grand Canal (1904s/1907s) by John Singer Sargent|
THE POETRY OF LIGHT
Venetian drawings from the National Gallery of Art, Washington
December 6, 2014 to March 15, 2015
Organized by The National Gallery of Art, Washington
In collaboration with Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia and the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation
CLICK for more information
Ciao from Venezia,
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog