Curated by: Lucia Peruzzi
“The Gallery. Collection and Historical Archive ”of BPER Banca presents, from 10 December 2021 to 13 March 2022, at the exhibition spaces in via Scudari 9 in Modena, the exhibition dossier“ Vaghissimi countries. Giuseppe Zola and landscape painting ”, curated by Lucia Peruzzi.The exhibition is dedicated to Giuseppe Zola (Brescia, 1672 - Ferrara, 1743), a painter from Brescia, who arrived in Ferrara at a very young age where he carried out all his activities. Considered a master in landscape painting, the artist is able to carve out a relevant position among the bourgeoisie and the Este nobility for which he produces a considerable amount of landscapes intended to embellish halls and galleries.
Zola is a completely unique figure in the Ferrara cultural and artistic context of the eighteenth century for his vast production of paintings almost entirely of a landscape nature, able to satisfy, with the pleasantness of the subject and the pictorial management, the growing demand for canvases for furnish the buildings of the city.The exhibition is divided into eight canvases from the new headquarters of the Monte di Pietà in Ferrara, built in 1756. Following the merger by incorporation of the Cassa di Risparmio di Ferrara into BPER Banca, which took place in 2017, these works and 24 other paintings by the same author have become part of the art collection of the banking group, which today includes over a thousand masterpieces, from the fifteenth to the twentieth century."Art has constantly confronted itself with the theme of nature - writes the curator Lucia Peruzzi - in a continuous and complex change of point of view, and is inevitably intertwined with the way of seeing and interpreting the territory. But it is in the seventeenth century that nature, from a simple background, begins to assert itself in its autonomy. And the arcadian and atmospheric landscape of the eighteenth century, in its various declinations, has its roots in the landscapes of the previous century, from the solemn and idealized visions, almost timeless, to the images of a picturesque nature, full of feelings and suggestions.
Zola starts from these dominant themes and reworks them with quotations ranging from Claude Lorrain to Salvator Rosa, in a chromatic research mediated by the knowledge of Marco Ricci's works. In his paintings alpine landscapes with rocks and waterfalls, ruined architecture and old peasant farmhouses alternate with more serene views of the countryside lying along the banks of very placid rivers, immersed in the silence of the veiled atmosphere of noon, with the blue of the sky and the violet reflections of the distant mountains ».