Cesare Tallone's splendid portraits on display at Tadini Academy Gallery in Lovere

From July 1 to October 1, 2023, the exhibition 'Cesare Tallone. Portraits of Society'. The exhibition presents an important nucleus of works, many of them previously unpublished, by the internationally renowned painter and portraitist.

Cesare Tallone. Portraits of Society is the title of the exhibition set up in the halls of the Museo dell’Ottocento at the Galleria dell’Accademia Tadini in Lovere (Bergamo) from July 1 to October 1, 2023, which brings together an important nucleus of works by painter Cesare Tallone (Savona, 1853-Milan, 1919), director of the Accademia Carrara in Bergamo from 1885 to 1899 and internationally renowned figure of innovator and portraitist.

Curated by Tadini Academy Gallery director Marco Albertario and art historians Silvia Capponi and Elena Lissoni, the exhibition features more than forty of the painter’s paintings juxtaposed with photographs, sculptures and architectural plans for a total of about 80 works, many of them previously unpublished, from public collections (Accademia Carrara, Brescia Musei Foundation, Ricci Oddi Gallery in Piacenza) and private collections, with the’aim to restore Tallone’s path during his Bergamasque period, with a focus on his activity in Lovere, which has never been investigated until now. The portraits executed by the artist are related to other forms of representation, particularly photography and architectural drawing, and in many cases take on the value of important evidence of the family values and social relations that animated society between Bergamo and Lovere in the last quarter of the 19th century.

The exhibition opens by recalling Cesare Tallone’s arrival in Bergamo in 1885 following his appointment as professor of the School of Painting at the Carrara Academy. His unquestioned artistry and the prestige of the institutional role he held allowed Tallone to fit naturally into Bergamo’s artistic scene, as documented by the works on loan from the Fondazione Accademia Carrara and the Fondazione Brescia Musei. With his new way of understanding the portrait genre, Tallone presented the Bergamasque bourgeoisie and aristocracy with a modern alternative to the traditional portrait, characterized by a particular attention to the psychological rendering of the subject. The artist also transposes onto canvas the powerful language of self-representation conveyed by fashion, returning a faithful and valuable image of the style and taste most in vogue in high society at the end of the 19th century. These aspects directly involve Loverese society, which coalesces around the figure of Giovanni Battista Zitti, a wealthy industrialist and former Garibaldian.

At the center of the exhibition is a series of portraits of ancient Loverese provenance, made available by private owners, most of them previously unpublished.

The exhibition, which enjoys the patronage of the Municipality of Lovere and the Bergamo Lakes Community, is organized in collaboration with Accademia Carrara, Fondazione Brescia Musei, University of Brescia and Rete dell’800 lombardo, and with the support of sponsors such as Montello S.p.a., Fondazione Credito Bergamasco, Fondazione Polli Stoppani, Spazio Effe and Antica Fratta.

It will be accompanied by a series of popular initiatives dedicated to the wider public (special guided tours, in-depth meetings, but not only), with a special focus on young people and schools, to which specific activities will be devoted. Hours: 3 to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Sundays and holidays: 10 a.m. to noon and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Info: tel. 349 4118779. Admission: 10 euros (full), 7 euros (reduced). Online: www.mostratallone.it


“At the center of this exhibition,” says Marco Albertario, director of the Tadini Academy Gallery, “is a dynamic and active society, which finds in Cesare Tallone’s architecture and painting an answer to its celebratory needs. The central theme is therefore that of being and appearing, but the quality of Tallone’s painting, considered one of the greatest portrait painters of the 19th century, projects visitors into a narrative made of matter and color. In the background is Lovere, which, in those years, opened up to modernity.”

“Tallone was one of the most innovative figures in Bergamo’s artistic panorama,” stresses art historian Elena Lissoni, “not only for the modernity of his language, but also for his role as professor of Painting at the Accademia Carrara, witnessed by his most famous pupil, Pellizza da Volpedo, and by the extraordinary episode of the foundation of a school of women’s painting.”

“Endowed with an astonishing capacity for psychological investigation and a vigorous brushstroke,” points out art historian Silvia Capponi, “Cesare Tallone delivers to us through the portraits on display in the exhibition a compelling social kaleidoscope, made up of personal stories that are reflected in the political and cultural history that animated Bergamo and Lovere in the last quarter of the 19th century. A variegated dimension that, in the exhibition itinerary, will also be investigated through the effects of Talloni’s magisterium on his two pupils Giacomo Bosis and Giovanni Trussardi Volpi, artists who are both well represented in the collections of the Tadini Academy.”

Cesare Tallone's splendid portraits on display at Tadini Academy Gallery in Lovere
Cesare Tallone's splendid portraits on display at Tadini Academy Gallery in Lovere

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