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Gallery of Modern Art in Milan verified

Milan, Lombardy, Italy open Visit museumarrow_right_alt

closed Neoclassical and Romantic

The show

With the exhibition “ Neoclassical and Romantic. Pompeo Marchesi, sculptor collector ”, GAM | Galleria d'Arte Moderna continues the process of enhancing the most significant nuclei of its artistic heritage.

The exhibition, set up in the rooms on the ground floor of the Villa Reale from 1 March to 18 June 2023 , is promoted by the Municipality of Milan | Culture and is curated by Omar Cucciniello , curator of the Galleria d'Arte Moderna in Milan.


Milan pays homage to Pompeo Marchesi (1783-1858), great nineteenth-century sculptor, pupil of Canova, contemporary and friend of Francesco Hayez and trait d'union in the transition from Neoclassicism to Romanticism, in the lively environment of Milan between the Napoleonic Empire and the Restoration . The exhibition, 240 years after his birth, follows the celebrations for the bicentenary of Antonio Canova's death and takes its cue from the latter's precious plaster model of Hebe , at the Galleria d'Arte Moderna, to reconstruct the sculptor's collection, artist of fundamental importance for the history of the museum and the artistic collections of the Municipality of Milan. Among the very rare models by Canova not to be included in the Gypsotheca of Possagno, Ebe arrived in the civic collections precisely following the will bequeathed by Marchesi.


The exhibition itinerary reconstructs the life and work of the sculptor, trained at the Brera Academy under the auspices of Giuseppe Bossi and then in Rome, under the direction of Canova. The figure of Marchesi is closely linked to the city of Milan, where in the years of the Restoration the artist achieved enormous success by participating in the most important construction sites in the city, from the Arco della Pace to the Duomo, and in the artistic life, as a professor of the Brera Academy. Known as the "Fidia of Milan", he was defined by Stendhal as "le sculpteur à la mode de Milan" in the novel La Certosa di Parma , he received important commissions from all over Europe, from Vienna to Paris to St. Petersburg, evidence of a season of splendor of the Lombard sculpture, known and sought after all over the world. Classicist and perfect in form, his sculpture is in balance between the search for an ideal and eternal beauty, borrowed from Canova, and the opening of a more modern romantic sensibility, while the sketches show an unprecedented force, very modern and almost anti-classical, which seems to translate Winckelmann's advice to "conceive with fire but execute calmly".

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Via Palestro, 16
20121 Milan

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