Il Cassero per la scultura italiana dell'Ottocento e del Novecento. Ernesto Galeffi Exhibition Space.
The main aim of the "Il Cassero per la scultura italiana dell'Ottocento e del Novecento" museum in Montevarchi is to seek out and exhibit 19th and 20th century Italian sculpture. The successful collaboration with some of the most important private collectors in Italy - most of whom are from Naples - has made it possible to show 70 Neapolitan masterpieces of the 19th and 20th Centuries for the first time in Tuscany.
The exhibition is curated by Diego Esposito and Alfonso Panzetta, organized by the Montevarchi Town Council Culture Department and the Friends of "Il Cassero " Association. The Province of Arezzo has sponsored the show which presents a collection of 12 important bronze statues by Vincenzo Gemito (1852-1929). Gemito was an important figure in Southern Italian Sculpture at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century. His works include: the bust of "Pescatorello" (Little fisherman) - the full length version can be seen at the Bargello Museum in Florence - and "L'Acquaiolo" (Water boy) - the image of a small Neapolitan boy known as "scugnizzo", portrayed in a real life situation which influenced entire generations of artists. The bronze reduction of "Carlo V" (Charles V) is shown for the first time here. The monumental marble can be seen on the façade of the Royal Palace in Naples. His mature works include the great shield of "Alessandro Magno" (Alexander the Great) - an example of great freshness and the goldsmith's chisel.
Also on show we have some of the major works of Giovan Battista Amendola (1848-1887): the great " Venere che avvolge la chioma" (Venus pinning up her hair) - shown in Venice at the 1903 Biennial Exhibition. Also on show are the bronzes "A moment's rest" and "Miss Lucy" influenced by the artist's time in London and friendship with the painter Alma- Tadema.
By Achille d'Orsi (1845-1929) was another genius of Neapolitan sculpture. In addition to the bronzes "Don Basilio", "Testa di carrettiere" (Head of a carter) and the study of the head of "Proximus tuus", we also have the extraordinary and enormous work "A Posillipo" (In Posillipo). This work is shown together with" il gatto e il topo" (The cat and the mouse) - a rare work by Gesualdo Gatti (1856 -?). The works are similar in size and are both exquisitely chiselled.
The Neapolitan excursus includes a large section of 12 works by Giuseppe Renda (1859 - 1939) - undoubtedly an important reference point for the younger sculptors during the 20 year period that Gemito went into voluntary exile. This sophisticated sculptor of Calabrian origins was one of the few Italians who correctly interpreted the international Nouveau mood. His works "Estasi" (Ecstasy), "Voluttà" (Voluptuousness) and certain vibrant wax models dated 1888 were well known and considered scandalous at the time. However, they brought him to the public's attention and he was considered one of the most promising young Italian talents of that period.
The Neapolitan school developed quickly through the works of Raffaele Belliazzi (1835-1917), Enrico Mossutti (1849 -1920), Vincenzo Alfano ( c. 1850 - 1897), Rocco Milanese (1852 -1931), Rafaele Marino (1868-1957), Giovanni de Martino (1870 -1935) and Vincenzo Aurisicchio. However, the new 20th century sensibility burst onto the scene with the works of artists such as Gaetano Chiaromonte (1872- 1962), Saverio Gatto (1877 -1959), Francesco Parente (1885-1969), Giuseppe Pellegrini, Giovanni Tizzano (1889 - 1975), Salvatore Pavone, Terra Renda (1896-1967) , the refined animalists Antonio De Val (1895-1977) and of course Ennio Tomai (1893-1969). Tomai's three works on show were influenced by the Paris animaliers. Filippo Cifariello (1864-1936), perhaps the greatest portrait painter of his time, gave his mature contribution to that international climate of Dèco with the vibrant "Ballerina". This work evokes the dances of Josephine Baker. Cifariello however, also gave us an intense portrait of the tenor Enrico Caruso (1873 -1921). Caruso is one of the best loved and internationally famous Italian artists of all time. As a result many claim to know all about him. However, very few people know that he was also a sculptor. His witty and ironic bronze statues were mostly cast in New York and are extremely rare. We are immensely proud to have one of these bronzes on show here in Montevarchi and it truly is the jewel in our collection. The inauguration of this exhibition is also a chance for the general public to visit the former Enrico Galeffi Museum which has been completely restored and refurbished by the Montevarchi Town Council.
Gemito and sculpture in Naples in the 19th and 20th Centuries
Il Cassero per la scultura italiana dell'Ottocento e del Novecento.
Ernesto Galeffi Exhibition Space.
Via A. Burzagli, 43
11th March - 27th May 2012
Opening 10th March 2012 at 11 a.m. - Galleffi Bistro, via A. Burzagli 39
Information and Booking
Telephone number: 0039 055 9108274
Facebook: Cassero per la Scultura
Price of ticket: € 7
CARD (Exhibition + Il Cassero): € 8
CARD (Exhibition + Il Cassero): € 5 (under 18, over 65 and TCI Card holders)
Thursday and Friday: 10am - 1 pm and 3pm - 6 pm
Saturday and Sunday: 10am - 1 pm and 3pm - 7 pm
First Thursday of the month: 9.30 pm - 11.30 pm
Closed Sunday 8th April , open Monday 9th April and Tuesday 1st May.
176 page catalogue edited by Diego Esposito and Alfonso Panzetta published by Fioranna Edizioni (Naples).
Press Office - Montevarchi Town Council
Studio ESSECI - Sergio Campagnolo
Telephone number: 0039 049 663499