Curated by: Bożena Anna Kowalczyk
The autumn exhibition of the Ragghianti Foundation, dedicated to the excellent Venetian painter Bernardo Bellotto (1722-1780), grandson of Canaletto, is both a great exhibition event and a study exhibition, presenting itself as a unique opportunity to admire some works precious and rare never seen together, including the most important painting in history having as its subject the city of Lucca, a masterpiece by Bellotto, and five of his drawings, always with a Lucchese subject, extraordinarily loaned by the British Library in London, already owned by the king George III of England and then of George IV.
The exhibition illustrates Bernardo Bellotto 's journey to Tuscany, one of the most fascinating themes of eighteenth-century landscape painting. The artist received his training in Canaletto 's studio when the latter was at the height of his fame, in the late 1930s. The master's legacy is the basis of all his work, but as soon as the young Bellotto begins to travel outside Venice - and the stay in Tuscany is the first and fundamental in this regard - he develops his own expressive style in an original way.
The most recent archival studies have made it possible to date this journey by Bellotto to 1740, two years earlier than previously believed, thus highlighting its importance as a manifesto of the painter's artistic precocity, then eighteen years old. The rediscovered documentation also allows us to see him as the pioneer of landscape painting in Florence and Lucca, at the service of the Tuscan aristocracy.
The photos were made by Lucio Ghilardi.