Curated by: Bożena Anna Kowalczyk
The autumn exhibition of the Ragghianti Foundation, dedicated to the great Venetian painter Bernardo Bellotto (1722-1780), Canaletto's nephew, is both a great exhibition 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, Bellotto's masterpiece, and five of his drawings, always on a subject from Lucca, extraordinarily lent by the British Library, already owned by the king George III of England and then of George IV.
The exhibition illustrates the journey of Bernardo Bellotto in Tuscany, one of the most fascinating themes of eighteenth-century landscape painting. The artist received his training in the study of Canaletto when the latter is at the height of his fame, in the late thirties. The master's legacy is the basis of all his work, but as soon as the young Bellotto begins to travel outside of Venice - and his 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 allowed us to date this journey of Bellotto to 1740, two years earlier than was thought, thus highlighting its importance as a manifesto of the artistic precocity of the painter, then eighteen. The rediscovered documentation also allows him to see in him the pioneer of the painting of views in Florence and Lucca, at the service of the Tuscan aristocracy.
The photos were taken by Lucio Ghilardi.