From Wagner to Wagnerism, at Venice’s Palazzo Fortuny

4 December 2012

While La Scala prepares to celebrate Richard Wagner with a staging of Lohengrin directed by Daniel Barenboim, in the next months an exhibition in Venice will be devoted to a lesser-investigated aspect of the German composer’s work: his influence on the world of visual art. “Fortuny and Wagner”, open at Fortuny Palace starting from 8 […]

The Scottish Colourist series: SJ Peploe at Edinburgh’s National Gallery

21 November 2012

When, in May 2011, Samuel John Peploe’s “The Coffee Pot” was sold for £937.250 at a Christie’s auction in London – thus setting a record for a Scottish painting – it became apparent that something had changed in the reputation of the Scottish colourists. That the movement’s rediscovery, already started in the 1980s, doesn’t concern […]

At Monza’s Royal Villa, an Italy-China Biennial between art and nature

6 November 2012

What does bring Italy and China together? Reading China in Ten Words (Vintage), an at once scoffing and moving portrait of the Celestial Empire by Chinese author Yu Hua, through a collection of words like “people”, “leader”, “disparity”, “copycat” and “bamboozled”, one may get much in emotional terms, but little as to precise cultural references. […]

At Zurich’s Kunsthaus, the rare graphic works by Paul Gauguin

16 October 2012

For some artists, especially those from the recent past, success looks more like a punishment: they are exploited and trivialised by the art business, and their exhibitions are unbearably overcrowded. Sometimes though, one has the chance to enjoy their work in a different milieu, more private and authentic. This happens today in Zurich, where the local […]

At the Prado, Goya’s Drawings restored and the vibrant “Aun aprendo”

9 October 2012

An old man with a long white beard, a feet-length tunic, cautiously makes his way against a dark backdrop, bent over on his two sticks. Above his head is the inscription “I’m still learning”. Amongst Francisco Goya’s works, this small drawing is by no means the most celebrated, outside the scholarly circle. And yet there’s […]