After the “five hundred years” for Giovanni Bellini, an absolute master of the Italian Renaissance, Venice is recalling another great artist from the Sixteenth century, the fascinating and enigmatic painter Hieronymus Bosch, who lived in the Netherlands between 1450 and 1516 in the city of ‘s-Hertogenbosch.
But what links a Sixteenth century Dutch painter to Venice? The answer arrives from an important exhibition which the Venice City Museums Foundation and the of the Galleries of the Accademia National Museum in Venice have recently presented within the prestigious premises of the Ducal Palace, specifically in the Doge’s apartment.
Bosch and Venice, this is its title, is rendering tribute to the Dutch artist, following the two great exhibitions in 2016 at ‘s Hertogenbosch and at the Prado, inspired by three of his famous works, the Hermits and the Santa Liberata triptychs and the four Visions of the Hereafter, still preserved in Venice (the only ones in Italy) at the Ducal Palace and at Palazzo Grimani.
The three paintings, made even more extraordinary by careful conservation and restoration work carried out for the occasion of his 500th anniversary celebration, represent significant moments in the artist’s production, characterised by vastly effective fantastic visions and dreamlike images.
The Venice exhibition draws new knowledge inputs from these three works and their restoration about their origins and significance, but also about the impact which this artist would have on Italian art, an influence documented by the exhibition by means of around fifty artworks by his close followers, mostly from Venetian collections.
On this occasion an important and novel focus will touch on the relationship between Flanders and one of the most sophisticated and cultured figures in the Venetian scene, Cardinal Domenico Grimani (Venice 1461 – Rome 1523) who wanted Bosch’s works in his own residence, the current Palazzo Grimani.
Other no less engaging exhibitions flank this one. In this instance we may also recall the two lovely exhibitions in the venues at Ca ‘Pesaro and at Palazzo Fortuny for the City Museums. They are, respectively, the great retrospective dedicated to American impressionist-style artist William Merritt Chase, and the one on the Cadorins, the history of a dynasty of artists which saw its heyday in Venice between the Nineteenth and Twentieth centuries.
Concerning ancient art, this month’s scenario then features the exhibition on Michele Giambono (and other important lagoon and Veneto masters of the 1400s) at the Galleries of the Accademia; as regards modern art, the important retrospective on Tancredi, “the poet of abstract art” who has found a home again after fifty years where his tale with Peggy Guggenheim was born, at Ca ‘Venier dei Leoni; for contemporary art, the Collective by the finalists of the International Arte Laguna Prize dedicated to all artistic facets, on display at the spectacular spaces in the Nappe at the Arsenal (from 25 March); for photography, the splendid Arctic. Last frontier exhibition, in the venues at the Casa dei Treoci, at the Giudecca, with 120 pictures, strictly in black and white, by three masters of journalism photography.
As for the entertainment page, this month reserves more interesting opportunities, among them, those offered by La Fenice Grand Theatre and Carlo Goldoni Veneto Resident Theatre. A glance at the former one’s billing for opera shows two performances of Giacomo Puccini’s Bohème and seven of Carmen, by Georges Bizet; three shows for dance by the Parsons Dance Italian Tour led by American choreographer David Parsons; for symphonia, two concerts conducted by Marco Angius and moreover, dates for jazz, pop and chamber music.
For the Goldoni, and prose theatre, instead, we may point out The bathroom brilliant comedy by Astrid Vaillon with Stefania and Amanda Sandrelli; Phaedra, a play drawn from Seneca and performed here by Andrea de Rosa; Porcile, a dramatic play from Pier Paolo Pasolini’s film, revisited by Valerio Binasco.
Theatres, churches, palaces… further appealing opportunities will round off this month’s billboard. These include the ones offered by the Fondaco dei Tedeschi and its And now, where do we go? cultural showcase, focusing on the theme of travel, with music, dance and cinema events.
From the T Fondaco, the first lifestyle department-store by DFS Group in Europe, to Palazzo Grassi, or rather to its theatre. The spotlight here from 2 to 5 March will be on the Art Screen Film Festival, an exclusive selection of screenings from the latest edition of this Florentine festival dedicated to artists’ films.
Finally, reading and literature will take the floor in various venues in town later this month (from the 29) with the tenth edition of the successful Crossroads of Civilizations showcase, the Venice International Literature Festival promoted by the University of Ca’ Foscari.
We are finally adding three dates to this month’s agenda: March 8, the day when International Women’s Day is celebrated; March 20, the day marking the beginning of Spring in our hemisphere; March 25, Venice’s birthday (the date that history, or rather, legend, assigns to the birth of the city).
Three dates for three recurrences, which Venice will not be remiss in celebrating, with its Guests. D.R.