Terre degli Uffizi's first exhibition in Arezzo is dedicated to Pietro Benvenuti in the time of Canova

The first exhibition of Terre degli Uffizi in Arezzo is set up in the Ivan Bruschi House Museum and is dedicated to Pietro Benvenuti, an Arezzo painter contemporary with Antonio Canova. June 17 through October 23, 2022.

It opened June 17 and will remain open to the public until Oct. 23, 2022, the first exhibition of Terre degli Uffizi in Arezzo, set up in the Ivan Bruschi House Museum. The exhibition is dedicated to Arezzo painter Pietro Benvenuti, a contemporary of Antonio Canova.

In fact, the exhibition is entitled Pietro Benvenuti in the Age of Canova. Paintings and drawings from public and private collections, precisely because the Ivan Bruschi House Museum pays tribute to Canova, on the occasion of the second centenary of his death, by exhibiting paintings and drawings from public and private collections by his contemporary Pietro Benvenuti. The exhibition project is curated by Liletta Fornasari and is part of Gallerie degli Uffizi and Fondazione CR Firenze’s Terre degli U ffizi program, this year’s fifth exhibition within their respective Uffizi Diffusi and Piccoli Grandi Musei projects.

Born in Arezzo, Benvenuti was a leading figure on the international art scene during the Neoclassical period and is celebrated in this exhibition through works that start from his training to his years of academic success and his investiture as “imperial painter,” when he received important and illustrious commissions. The exhibition, organized and promoted by the Ivan Bruschi Foundation, part of Intesa Sanpaolo’s cultural heritage, also aims to remember the painter through the network of academic institutions he presided over and the relationships he had with important figures.

For the Cathedral of Arezzo, Benvenuti painted the Martyrdom of St. Donato in 1794 and, in 1804, a monumental Judith showing the head of Holofernes to the people of Bethulia, a masterful debut in the genre of history painting that was to be followed up in The Death of Priam, executed in 1811 for Prince Corsini, and in the Napoleonic splendors celebrated in the large canvases with Elisa Baciocchi among the artists (1813) and The Oath of the Saxons to Napoleon (1812). Thanks to public and private loans, including a number of works from the Uffizi Galleries, the exhibition follows through sketches and preparatory drawings the story of those important undertakings, illustrating Benvenuti’s career from the years of academic success to those of elegant portraits, of which a significant selection is on display. These include two works from the Intesa Sanpaolo collection, which have been present for years in the exhibition itinerary of the Ivan Bruschi House Museum of Antiques: Portrait of Teresa Mozzi del Garbo with her son from 1817 and Portrait of Antonio Capacci from 1818. The artist maintained his prestige even after the return of the Lorraine grand duke, for whom he set up the monumental pictorial cycles of the Sala d’Ercole in Palazzo Pitti (1817-1819) and the ceiling of the Cappella dei Principi (1828-1836), works also documented in the exhibition by drawings and preparatory sketches, which demonstrate the evolution of the painter’s style toward a classicism in which naturalistic suggestions are noted, heralding Romantic culture. Marking the stages of this adherence to the new climate, nurtured by the young generation of Academy students, the exhibition displaysCorso Donati and Piccarda’s Meeting (1838-1840), where the adherence to neo-Gothic novelties is noted.

“The initiative of Terre degli Uffizi in Arezzo opens when in Florence the first major monographic exhibition dedicated to Giuseppe Bezzuoli, who was Benvenuti’s pupil and succeeded him as professor at the Accademia di Belle Arti in 1844, has just concluded in Palazzo Pitti,” said Uffizi Galleries Director Eike Schmidt. “With these two important exhibitions, a new light is shed on Tuscan art of the nineteenth century, hitherto the preserve of specialized studies and less known to the general public. In reality, the works illustrate not only the very high quality of these artists, often even ahead of their more celebrated European colleagues, but also their openness to stimuli and novelties.”

“For this fifth stage of the ’Terre degli Uffizi’ project we are pleased to have as a traveling companion a partner of the highest level such as Intesa Sanpaolo to which Fondazione CR Firenze is strongly linked for the many initiatives that we have conducted and are carrying out together, including in the areas of culture and art, both in Florence and in the reference territories such as Grosseto and Arezzo,” added Luigi Salvadori, president of Fondazione CR Firenze. “On this occasion we are rediscovering the first painter of the 19th century from Tuscany and Arezzo and undisputed protagonist of the international scene, perhaps not adequately valued as Pietro Benvenuti. The recognition he receives now, thanks to the Ivan Bruschi House Museum, also has the value of a compensation from critics and his many admirers as well as from the city of Petrarch and Vasari.”

Luca Benvenuti, President of the Ivan Bruschi Foundation emphasized, "Twenty years have passed since the Ivan Bruschi House Museum was opened to the public, and we have decided to celebrate this significant anniversary with an exhibition of national caliber that, in the year in which we became part of Intesa Sanpaolo’s cultural heritage, has the ambition of opening to the wide public. Pietro Benvenuti nell’età di Canova (Pietro Benvenuti in the Age of Canova), represents for our Foundation an exhibition in which synergies of great prestige are interwoven with protagonists in the artistic and cultural enhancement of our country and also at the international level such as the Uffizi Galleries and the CR Florence Foundation. A choice born from the desire to restore value to citizens, tourists and scholars in a place where an intense cultural and educational activity is carried out, always open to confrontation with society."

“Intesa Sanpaolo is pleased to work with the Ivan Bruschi Foundation for the enhancement of the art collections and initiatives housed in the beautiful House Museum in Arezzo,” concluded Michele Coppola, Executive Director Art Culture and Historical Assets Intesa Sanpaolo. “The presence of this prestigious reality in the Group’s cultural heritage allows us to strengthen our ties with the territory and with the main institutions that operate there, as on the occasion of the exhibition being inaugurated today, the result of the synergy with Gallerie degli Uffizi and Fondazione CR Firenze. The Bank confirms its role and commitment to important cultural projects that promote the great wealth and artistic beauty preserved in every Italian city.”

For more info: https://www.fondazioneivanbruschi.it/

Hours: Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 6 p.m.

Tickets: Full 5 euros, reduced 3 euros.

Photo by Stefano Casati

Terre degli Uffizi's first exhibition in Arezzo is dedicated to Pietro Benvenuti in the time of Canova
Terre degli Uffizi's first exhibition in Arezzo is dedicated to Pietro Benvenuti in the time of Canova

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