“Art Nouveau. The triumph of beauty” will be open at the Palace of Venaria until 26 January 2020. Produced and organized by the Consortium of Savoy Royal Residences and Arthemisia, with the patronage of the City of Turin, the exhibition is curated by Katy Spurrell, and showcases a selection of 200 pieces ranging across painting, architecture, sculpture and interior design. Its goal is to tell the story of the art movement that flourished between the end of the 1800s and the early 1900s, conceived as a “total art” that would contaminate and influence all the figurative disciplines of its time. Successful throughout the Western world, it was known as “Modern Style” and “Tiffany” in the United States, “Jugendstil” in Germany, “Modernismo” in Spain, “Nieuwe Kunst” in the Netherlands, “Stile Liberty” in Italy, “Art Nouveau” in France – and was especially popular in England, where its most outstanding interpreters emerged.
The exhibition at the Palace of Venaria presents this international phenomenon and the role it had in contrasting the new industrial society, breaking with 19th-century eclecticism and historicism. It includes works by great masters of the time – such as Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Alphonse Mucha, René Lalique, Eugene Grasset, Emile Gallé, Eugene Gaillard and Louis Majorelle.
Many pieces explore the female figure and its representation or the iconographic role of nature, which the movement represented devoid of academic conventions for the first time in the history of art.
It is a real triumph of beauty, as the title claims, brought along by an international art movement that for decades influenced – and indeed continues to influence – visual arts, interior decor and fashion, rejecting realism and science with its constant yearning for dream-like universes made of elegance, refinement, and a pinch of escapism. In search of universal beauty, with its eternal power to save us.
Author: Barbara Palladino
Translation by Michelle Nebiolo
Reggia di Venaria Reale
Piazza della Repubblica, 4 – Venaria Reale (Turin)
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