Giuseppe De Nittis, The Place du Carrousel: The Ruins of the Tuileries, 1882, Oil on panel, 60 x 45 cm, Paris, Musée du Louvre, on long-term loan to the Musée d’Orsay, acquired from the artist by the French State, 1883
“Everyone copies De Nittis (…) De Nittis has achieved perfection in what the Impressionists had started” wrote Gauguin at the end of 1884. Yet the Barletta painter who died prematurely at the age of 38, a central figure in the early years of Impressionism, has not always enjoyed due consideration, sometimes confined to clichés by the French and Italian artists themselves.
Giuseppe De Nittis, Campo di biche, ca 1880, Oil on canvas, 81 x 64 cm, Barletta, Giuseppe De Nittis Picture Gallery
From 12 November to 12 February an exhibition entitled An italian Impressionist in Paris: Giuseppe De Nittisrealized in concert with the Municipality of Barletta and the Puglia Region, pays homage to the great Italian artist, inviting an international reinterpretation of the master and rectifying the historical omission of which he has long been the subject.
The path will try to rediscover the figure of the painter – whose maturity sprouted through a national itinerary to consecrate himself between Paris and London, within the wider Impressionist movement – but also the incredible friendship that bound him to masters such as Manet, Degas , Caillebotte, providing a new point of view in the study of Impressionism.
The Phillips Collection, the first modern art museum in the United States, will welcome the itinerary – which promises to be the flagship international event of Washington’s fall -.
The stimulus starts with the rearrangement of the Pinacoteca De Nittis in Barletta – which preserves the large donation made in 1914 of over 136 works by Léontine, the artist’s wife – by the historian and art critic Renato Miracco, who, together to Italian and American scholars he gave life to a reinterpretation of the painter.
32 works will leave for Washington from the Pinacoteca hosted at Palazzo della Marra, in addition to the 15 masterpieces arriving from museums such as the Metropolitan in New York, the Louvre in Paris and the Petit Palais, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Fine Art Museum of Boston, 14 works on loan from private collections and works from the Phillips Collection, for a total of 74 works on display.
Giuseppe De Nittis, Breakfast in the garden, 1884, Oil on canvas, 117 x 81 cm, Barletta, Giuseppe De Nittis Picture Gallery
“The idea of this monographic, the first on American soil – explains Renato Miracco, curator of the exhibition together with Susan Behrends Frank – is based on recent research by international scholars with the precise desire to re-read Giuseppe De Nittis, a multifaceted personality, innovator, inspired by multiple artistic cultures of the moment, unknown to the general public, who became a point of reference for an entire generation of European painters. Along the reasoned path of this exhibition, divided into sections, we will be able to admire how De Nittis tackles all the typical themes of the painting of the time, from urban views to the new Parisian fashion, from the views of Vesuvius to the magical landscapes of the Apulian and French countryside “.
In this exhibition path that builds an ideal bridge between Puglia and Washington, the result of an admirable example of collaboration between private individuals and public institutions, and which required four years of work, De Nittis will dialogue with works by Degas, Manet and Caillebotte.
“But it will not be a casual comparison – assures Dorothy Kosinski, director of the Phillips Collection -. These works will relive a new life in the contemporaneity of the exhibition “.
In the meantime, at the Pinacoteca di Barletta, the works temporarily on loan to the Phillips Collection will be replaced with as many works by De Nittis kept in the deposits.
“The great heritage of the Barletta Impressionist, donated to the city by his wife Léontine Gruvelle – explains the mayor of Barletta, Cosimo Cannito – will make it possible to rearrange the Pinacoteca in order to give the visitors of Palazzo della Marra the opportunity to appreciate the artistic grandeur of the painter who was able to enchant Paris ”.
The exhibition, which boasts the High Patronage of the Italian Ministry of Culture, was born in collaboration with the Superintendence of Archeology, Fine Arts and Landscape of the Privincia BAT (Barletta Andria Trani) with the city of Barletta and the Pinacoteca De Nittis, with the support of the Puglia Region and the Pino Pascali Foundation in collaboration with ARET Pugliaprofotion.
A catalog in English will be dedicated to De Nittis with essays by Renato Miracco, Robert Jensen and Marina Ferretti Bocquillon.
Edgar Degas, Portrait of Mrs. De Nittis, c.1872, Oil on canvas, 55 x 74 cm, Portland Art Museum, Oregon, Gift of the Adele R. Levy Fund, Inc.