Boldini, Previati e De Pisis. Due secoli di grande arte a Ferrara
13 October 2012 - 13 January 2013

Boldini Signora in rosa

From October 13th 2012 to January 13th 2013, visitors will have the opportunity to discover the masterpieces from the collections of the Museo Boldini and the other modern and contemporary art galleries of Palazzo Massari.

A wide selection of works by Boldini, Previati, Mentessi, Minerbi, Melli, Funi and De Pisis, who were the most significant Ferrarese artists of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, will be presented together with works by other great Italian masters such as Gemito, Boccioni and Sironi also belonging to the collections of the Gallerie d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea of Ferrara.

The idea for the exhibition was prompted by the closure of the Palazzo Massari complex, where the collections of the Gallerie d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea are housed, following the earthquakes that struck the region of Emilia-Romagna in May. While major work is being done to strengthen the buildings, these art treasures must be moved to safety. From this necessity arose the decision to make them temporarily accessible at the Palazzo dei Diamanti, not only to underline the importance and the quality of the heritage held at Palazzo Massari, but also to raise awareness of the need to safeguard these and other cultural properties damaged by the earthquake.

The Comune di Ferrara and Ferrara Arte hope that the masterpieces in this exhibition will represent the city, not only at home, but also in other venues around Italy. In order to make way for this show, the exhibition on Michelangelo Antonioni previously scheduled for this autumn has been postponed until the spring of 2013.

Domenichini La preghiera Boldini, Previati e De Pisis. Due secoli di grande arte a Ferrara reunites about eighty works including paintings, sculptures and works on paper that span over one hundred and fifty years of artistic production. The show opens with works from the first half of the 1800s: from paintings by Giovanni Antonio Baruffaldi and Giovanni Pagliarini inspired by the Purismo movement with literary or religious themes to the romantic fervour of those by Girolamo Domenichini, Massimiliano Lodi and Gaetano Turchi that commemorate the grandeur of the Estense heritage or give form to the hopes of the Risorgimento. From the middle of the century, the success of genres such as portrait, panoramic views or landscapes was often linked to artists active outside Ferrara, and above all, to Giovanni Boldini. He was prominent in the renewal of Italian and international painting in the second half of the century, first among the "Macchiaioli" in Florence and then in the Paris of the Impressionists. A wide selection of Boldini's masterpieces shows his role as an undisputed protagonist in the Belle Époque, as does the establishment in 1935 of the museum dedicated to him. Included are portraits like Portrait of Young Subercaseaux, Firework, Walking in the Bois de Boulogne and Lady in Rose, interior paintings of his atelier, still lifes and panoramic views.

Mentessi Pace
Over the twentieth century, these collections were enriched by works of other local masters who became famous outside Ferrara; such as Charing Cross Bridge by Alberto Pisa, Peace by Giuseppe Mentessi, and Removal of Christ’s body by Gaetano Previati. Previati's Symbolist masterpiece, Paolo and Francesca, and his divisionist paintings are presented together with secessionist or futurist inspired works by Arrigo Minerbi, Aroldo Bonzagni, Umberto Boccioni, Roberto Melli and Annibale Zucchini, underscoring his position as their precursor and showing his influence on successive generations. The vibrant Italian artistic climate between the wars will be represented by Roberto Melli, whose tonal paintings are in the expressionist manner of the "Scuola Romana" and by the modern classicism of one of the key proponents of the Novecento Italiano, Achille Funi, whose work will be displayed alongside a pioneer of the "return to order" and primitivism, Mario Sironi.

De Pisis La Coupole Filippo de Pisis, on the other hand, left Ferrara, and established his reputation in Paris. The collections of the 20th century are named after him. Thanks in particular to the efforts of the Fondazione Pianori and the generous bequest of Manlio and Franca Malabotta, it is possible to retrace the entire creative arc of his career, from the metaphysically-inspired marine scenes (Still life with Kingfisher) to the "pictorial shorthands" that characterize, for example, his views of Paris, his penetrating male portraits such as the Portrait of Allegro, and the lyrical, poignant masterpieces of his maturity, Rose in a Bottle and Still life with Inkwell.

As in other major exhibitions, Boldini, Previati e De Pisis. Due secoli di grande arte a Ferrara will be accompanied by an educational program for schools and families, including the publication of a book for children, all produced by Ferrara Arte with the support of ENI. The project, which aims to make accessible to children the artistic heritage of their own city and the art of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, is particularly important for Ferrara in this moment of great difficulty, sending out a strong signal emphasizing that "reconstruction" must begin with educating the young.

Boldini, Previati e De Pisis. Due secoli di grande arte a Ferrara
Ferrara, Palazzo dei Diamanti
13 October 2012 – 13 January 2013

Curated by
Maria Luisa Pacelli, Barbara Guidi and Chiara Vorrasi

Organized by
Ferrara Arte and the Gallerie d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea of Ferrara

Mon-Sun from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm
Also open 1 November; 8, 25 and 26 December; 1 and 6 January

Information and tickets
Call Center Ferrara Mostre e Musei, tel. 0532 244949

Media contact
Studio ESSECI – Sergio Campagnolo, tel. 049 663499











Corso Ercole I d’Este 21, 44121 Ferrara
tel +39 0532 244949