In Brescia the largest exhibition ever dedicated to Giacomo Ceruti

From February 14 to May 28, 2023, the Santa Giulia Museum in Brescia is dedicating an exhibition to Giacomo Ceruti, with the aim of rereading him as a European painter and no longer just as "il Pitocchetto." It is heralded as the most important exhibition ever on the artist.

From Feb. 14 to May 28, 2023, the Santa Giulia Museum in Brescia is dedicating a major exhibition to Giacomo Ceruti (Milan, 1698 - 1767), calling it “the most important exhibition ever devoted to the Lombard painter.” The exhibition, entitled Miseria & Nobiltà. Giacomo Ceruti in Eighteenth-Century Europe, is curated by Roberta D’Adda, Francesco Frangi and Alessandro Morandotti, and is part of the Bergamo and Brescia Capitals of Culture 2023 program. It is a co-production Fondazione Brescia Musei and Skira, in partnership with the Getty Center in Los Angeles, which also comes along with a series of initiatives.

A painter of the last and a sought-after portraitist of the aristocracy, between shadows and light, from suffering humanity to serene intonations, from scenes of poverty to the most up-to-date and refined trends in 18th-century European art, Ceruti is addressed by the exhibition with what promises to be a “dutiful reinterpretation of Ceruti’s work, which expands the boundaries on the most adventurous painter of the 18th century.” An original interpreter of his era, capable of giving shape to the contradictions of the society of the time, close to those of our own day. The review thus aims to restore a broader dimension to the artist. No longer Pitocchetto then, but Giacomo Ceruti, European painter: this is the aim of the exhibition.

With more than one hundred works by Ceruti and artists who preceded or imitated him, the exhibition compares for the first time the artist’s most important masterpieces and more: paintings from sought-after private collections and not normally accessible, major international museum loans, unpublished works and new attributions, offering an engaging and finally complete overview. Miseria & Nobiltà is held more than 35 years after the retrospective that always Brescia dedicated to him in 1987, this time transcending national borders thanks to the partnership with the Getty Center and the second stage of the project, which will open in Los Angeles on July 18, 2023.

The exhibition at the Santa Giulia Museum is determined by the discoveries and studies that have allowed a radical revision of the artist, also recounting Ceruti’s relationships with earlier and contemporary authors, thanks to the presence of works by Moroni, Bellotti, Monsù Bernardo, Ceresa, Todeschini, Sweerts, Ribera, Fra’ Galgario, Snijers, Tiepolo, Piazzetta, and Rigaud. Finally, a project that aims to demonstrate, once again, that art history is a living subject, capable of evolving and updating.

In addition to the exhibition, as anticipated, a series of initiatives are part of the calendar that, for more than a year, Fondazione Brescia Musei has been dedicating to Giacomo Ceruti: from Jan. 31 to Feb. 5, 2023, at Pinacoteca Tosio Martinengo, the theatrical performance Tre Ritratti, inspired by female figures in three of Ceruti’s works, produced in collaboration with Centro Teatrale Bresciano, written by Fabrizio Sinisi and directed by Claudio Autelli; from Feb. 14 to November 2023, also at Pinacoteca Tosio Martinengo, the original photographic exhibition LaChapelle per Ceruti, curated by Denis Curti; from Feb. 14 to May 28, 2023, at Museo di Santa Giulia, the exhibition Immaginario Ceruti. Prints in the Painter’s Workshop: an in-depth look at the artist’s use of engravings, curated by Francesco Ceretti and Roberta D’Adda. For all information you can visit the Brescia Musei website.

Image: Giacomo Ceruti, Seated Pitocco (1730-35; Brescia, Pinacoteca Tosio Martinengo)

In Brescia the largest exhibition ever dedicated to Giacomo Ceruti
In Brescia the largest exhibition ever dedicated to Giacomo Ceruti

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