Oct 18
First Mariano Fortuny’s retrospective exhibition in the Museo del Prado - 2 PDF Печат Е-поща
Автор: artnovini.com   
Събота, 02 Декември 2017г. 10:43ч.

Mariano Fortuny, ‘The Opium Smoker’. Watercolour on paper, 384 x 498 mm, 1869. Photo: © Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg* * *

The sections
of the exhibition

Years of training
in Rome (1858 - 1861)

THE SON and grandson of craftsmen, orphaned at a very young age, Fortuny developed exceptional technical skills during his initial training. Following his early studies in painting at the municipal school in Reus, in 1853 he embarked on an academic training at the School of Fine Arts in Barcelona.

From 1858 a period in Rome as a grant student of the Provincial Council of Barcelona introduced him to the great works of the Renaissance and Baroque. He also attended the Accademia Gigi in Rome where he produced life studies of nudes that reveal his skilled ability to depict bodies combined with a notable expressivity arising from his mastery of both pen and pencil. Fortuny’s abilities as a watercolourist are already evident in Il contino, a work in which the depiction of a young man in 18th-century dress in a monumental garden (the Villa Borghese in Rome) anticipates his subsequent genre compositions. Odalisque reflects the artist’s mastery of the nude of a particularly sensual type, depicted with a degree of freedom and realism greater than that seen in his works produced in Barcelona.

Mariano Fortuny, ‘The Old Town Hall in Granada’. Oil on panel, 35 x 48.4 cm,  ca. 1872-1873. Photo: © Museo de Bellas Artes de Granada. Colección Museística de la Junta de AndalucíaAfrica and the discovery of painting (1860 and 1862)

THE PROVINCIAL Council of Barcelona sent Fortuny to Morocco to compile graphic information for subsequent paintings on the most notable achievements in the Spanish-Moroccan War, in which Catalan volunteer troops were fighting. In Morocco from February 1860, Fortuny followed the campaign, witnessing and subsequently painting The Battle of Wad-Ras. At the same time he was also notably attracted by local customs and peoples. He returned in 1862 and made numerous sketches in preparation for The Battle of Tétouan, again for the Provincial Council, a large-format work that remained unfinished.

The discovery of North Africa’s bare, sweeping spaces, its intense light and dazzling colour produced a radical change in Fortuny’s painting. This is evident in both his works painted from life and those subsequently executed in the studio from sketches, his memory and his imagination. In the latter type he offered original depictions of aspects of Arab life that had appealed to him for their picturesque or enigmatic nature.

Between Spain and Italy (1863 - 1868)

AFTER spending some months in Barcelona, Fortuny returned to Rome where he continued to work on Arab themes and also painted oils and watercolours of the local people from the countryside around the city. These works make use of a realist style inspired by the work of some of the artists of the Neapolitan School which he had seen at the First Italian National Exhibition in Florence in 1861 and in the exhibitions he visited in 1863. Fortuny occasionally painted portraits, notable for their interest in subtle nuances of colour. He was also commissioned to paint one of the ceilings in the Parisian residence of Queen María Cristina de Borbón, for which he devised an original solution. That work is displayed here for the first time in its original position as a ceiling painting, allowing for its complete visual comprehension. During one of Fortuny’s periods in Madrid, where in 1867 he married Federico de Madrazo’s daughter Cecilia de Madrazo, he painted one of his most interesting works of this period, Fantasy on Faust. This is an outstanding example of the vivid imagination and vibrant brushstroke which the artist employed to execute his studies in just a few hours, their fresh, skilful technique also evident in other oil paintings in this section.

Mariano Fortuny, ‘The Painter’s Children in the Japanese Room’. Oil on canvas, 44 x 93 cm, 1874. Photo: © Museo Nacional del Prado, MadridPrintmaking

FORTUNY was exceptionally skilled in printmaking techniques. Following his initial use of lithography in 1857, in the 1860s he produced a remarkable series of etchings that can be considered one of his finest achievements. They depict Arab subjects, genre scenes and others of classical inspiration, all characterised by an expressive intensity that made full use of this technique’s different resources, which he had studied in the work of Jusepe de Ribera (1591-1652), Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669) and Goya.

Following his first trip to North Africa, Fortuny realised that etching was particularly suited to conveying its mysterious atmosphere. This group of prints offers the finest and most true to life vision of orientalism to be found in European art. The Anchorite, one of the artist’s masterpieces, conveys the sense of both death and the desolation of nature. The complexity of this work is fully evident in the exhibition with the presence of the original copper plate, two proof states and an impression of the final state printed by Fortuny’s son.

Old Masters and the Prado (1866-1868)

WHILE Fortuny embarked on a rigorous study of Old Master painting in Italy, where he copied works by various Renaissance and Baroque painters including Diego Velázquez (1599-1660), it was in the Museo del Prado that he focused on them in a more sustained manner through his numerous copies. Fortuny particularly appreciated the Venetian and Flemish painters as well as the great masters of the Spanish School, whose colour and free brushstroke he admired. Among the latter he was interested in El Greco (1541-1614), a little appreciated artist at the time, even acquiring one of his paintings. Ribera and Velázquez were also the subject of various copies in oil and watercolour, works that reveal Fortuny’s mastery of anatomy, tactile qualities and colour. The artist he most appreciated was Goya, making numerous copies of his paintings. The penetration and quality of these interpretations is unique among painters of this time. Fortuny kept these copies in his studio as references for use in his own paintings and some of them achieved high prices at his posthumous sale.

Mariano Fortuny, ‘The Choice of a Model’. Oil on panel, 50 x 80 cm, about 1868-1874. Photo: © National Gallery of Art, Washington, Corcoran Collection (William A. Clark Collection), 2015International success (1868 - 1870)

THROUGH his relationship with the art dealer Adolphe Goupil (1806-1893), Fortuny achieved a level of international success that reached its peak with The Spanish Wedding, a genre scene set in the time of Goya. In addition to that work he produced a large series of genre paintings of which the most elaborate, The Choice of Model (1868-1874), was painted for his principal collector, William H. Stewart (1820-1897). In scenes of this type Fortuny evoked a world of beauty set in architecturally ornate interiors in which painting was evoked through homages to other artists. In parallel to the painstaking detail of these works, the artist continued to paint watercolours that enjoyed increasing success, making use of a range of technical resources with enormous freedom and refined colour and as a result completely transforming the prevailing approach to this medium. Finally, Fortuny’s dedicated practice of drawing sketches from life in his notebooks provided him with extremely useful material for use in his subsequent paintings and watercolours.

Granada (1870-1872)

HAVING started in a relatively modest manner, Fortuny’s collecting activities expanded in the 1860s, particularly after he began to meet antique dealers, connoisseurs and collectors. During his time in Andalusia his innate taste and criteria led him to acquire Hispano-Moresque works of enormous quality. Fortuny was attracted to a wide range of objects, particularly arms, ceramics, textiles, ivories, furniture and glass. A truly outstanding area is Islamic art, the core of his collection, while he also possessed excellent examples of the Italian and Spanish decorative arts as well as Japanese textiles, screens and prints. Fortuny’s great technical skills allowed him to work as a restorer and he even made several pieces that look antique, such as the sword on display in this gallery. The display of all these objects alongside his own creations in his studio in Rome resulted in a beautiful setting in which the textures, colours and reflections of the objects directly inspired his own creative activities.

Image of the exhibition galleries ‘Fortuny (1838-1874)’. Photo © Museo Nacional del PradoThe final years (1873-1874)

IN THE last years of his life Fortuny returned to the Arab themes that he had depicted years before, now in a more synthetic manner and with greater dynamism and expressivity, achieved through more intense colour and freer brushstroke. He also turned his attention to subjects from daily life, as in Carnival on the Corso, Rome of 1873, and scenes of family life in the form of depictions of his wife and children in the months they spent in Portici near Naples.

During that intensely active period Fortuny’s practice of working outdoors by the sea enabled him to fully grasp local colour and its relationship with the fall of light, leading him to depict coloured shadows. He also explored other directions, such as the aesthetic of the Far East, in oils and watercolours of an intimate nature, including The Artist’s Children in the Japanese Room. Fortuny’s sudden, premature death, which was received with consternation in Rome, gave rise to a cult of the artist and his work became widely known and appreciated over the following years.

* * *

The preparation of this exhibition has been based on a rigorous study of various documentary archives never previously researched in a systematic manner. One of them, acquired by the Museo del Prado, has provided the basis for two complementary publications made possible with sponsorship from the Fundación María Cristina Masaveu Peterson: Volume I of the Epistolario del Archivo Madrazo en el Museo del Prado, and the biography Cecilia de Madrazo, light and memory of Mariano Fortuny (the latter also published in English).

* * *

The catalogue

The accompanying catalogue includes contributions by leading specialists. The text by the exhibition’s curator Javier Barón offers a chronological analysis of Fortuny’s artistic personality, from his early training to his time in Portici. Gianluca Berardi’s essay looks at the painter’s critical fortunes in Italy and his influence on that country’s art scene, while Stéphane Guégan focuses on the presence and influence of Fortuny’s work in France. Finally there is an analysis by Carlos G. Navarro of the artist’s activities as a collector and a biographical chronology compiled by Santiago Alcolea.

The catalogue entries are written by the exhibition’s curator and the other members of the Department of 19th-century Painting, as well as by Leticia Azcue, Jordi Carbonell, Francesc Quílez, Rosa Vives and Carlos Sánchez.

480 pages, 24 x 30 cm; Paperback, in Spanish

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Последна промяна от Събота, 02 Декември 2017г. 11:10ч.