An exhibition featuring Velázquez and Bernini comes to Perugia

From June 22 to October 22 in Perugia the exhibition Velázquez and Bernini. Self-portraits on display at the Nobile Collegio del Cambio.

Opening to the public on June 22 and running through Oct. 22 is the exhibition Velázquez and Bernini. Self-Portraits on Display at the Nobile Collegio del Cambio, curated by Francesco Federico Mancini, to be held in Perugia at the Nobile Collegio del Cambio. The exhibition includes a conspicuous number of self-portraits by contemporaries Diego Velázquez (Seville, 1599 - Madrid, 1660) and Gian Lorenzo Bernini (Naples, 1598 - Rome, 1680), two great interpreters of seventeenth-century painting. The exhibition takes place in Perugia because the local Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria holds, in its collection, three self-portraits by Velázquez from the collection of Valentino Martinelli, the Roman scholar who taught in Perugia from 1962 to 1975 and who wished to donate his collection to the City of Perugia.

Martinelli’s three portraits will be joined by Velázquez’s self-portrait preserved at the Pinacoteca Capitolina, which probably constitutes the central painting of the exhibition since it also draws on Bernini’s solutions, which influenced the Spaniard’s self-portraits in no small measure: Of the great Tuscan-born painter (who in turn was able to draw useful cues from Velázquez’s production, managing, as Tomaso Montanari had written, “to make his self-portraits veer from an external representation of life and movement to an acute and melancholy meditation on his own interiority”) will feature a Half-Figure Self-Portrait from the Uffizi, a self-portrait arriving from the Prado, a further self-portrait from the Musée Fabre in Montpellier, and, again, a youthful Self-Portrait of Bernini while drawing from the Luigi Koelliker collection in Milan. The ninth and final work isVelázquez’s Self-Portrait also kept at the Uffizi.

An excellent opportunity to learn more about these two great figures, then, centered on the theme of the self-portrait. “In my opinion,” writes curator Francesco Federico Mancini, “the Roman encounter and the consequent, extraordinary crossing of experiences of two of the greatest protagonists of seventeenth-century Europe produced mutually beneficial benefits. Velázquez, thanks to Bernini, understood what expressive force was concealed in the half-length cut of the portrait, which the latter had already experimented with on the side of sculpture, and how much vitality could spring from the contrast between the sketched manner of the clothes and the finished manner of the faces. Bernini learned from his Spanish colleague the way to delve into the intimacy of the characters, to enter into their psychological complexity.”

The exhibition will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission is 4.50 euros (and gives the opportunity to visit the Nobile Collegio del Cambio, a unique and intact environment). Exhibition organized under the patronage of MiBACT, Umbria Region, Municipality of Perugia and University of Perugia. Supported by the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Perugia and in collaboration with Trenitalia. The catalog (88 pages, 14 euros) is published by Aguaplano(more info here). For more info, see the Noble College of Change website.

Image: Diego Velázquez, Self-Portrait (c. 1645; oil on canvas, 103.5 x 82.5; Florence, Uffizi)

An exhibition featuring Velázquez and Bernini comes to Perugia
An exhibition featuring Velázquez and Bernini comes to Perugia

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