MUSEUMS & ATTRACTIONS Splendor of Centuries Past This season’s major exhibit at Galleria Borghese explores the extraordinary work of an 18th-century master. shares her preview. Tiffany Parks In the mid-1700s, when Rome had already spent over a century as the unparalleled capital of the art world, the city began a process of renewal that sought to remake its image after the excesses of the baroque period. and Marcantonio Borghese were two of Valadier’s most generous patrons, for whom he designed furnishings and fireplaces, built monumental tableware, and composed entire rooms, thus infusing the entire villa with his unmistakable style. The exhibit brings together a number of Valadier’s works, created for the leading noble families of Rome and beyond, with pieces on loan from prestigious museums across Europe, as well as drawings and designs of the same. Perhaps most remarkable is the bronze statue of brought from the Baptistery of San Giovanni in Laterano for the first time in its history. The work, arguably the most important in Valadier’s oeuvre, is in the process of a thorough restoration, taking place at the gallery during the exhibition. Visitors have the opportunity to observe the restorers at work as they lovingly renovate this unique work of art. Luigi Valadier, a goldsmith, furniture designer, and bronze founder, became one of the protagonists of Rome’s new style in the second half of the 18th century. The exhibit showcases Valadier’s unrivaled technique in working with silver and bronze, which led him to develop his avantgarde style. This, in turn, broadened his artistic output from the creation of furniture to the realization of more ambitious and monumental enterprises, such as large bronze sculptures, often with Classical inspiration. The Borghese Gallery is a fitting setting for this monographic show, as the villa was a hotbed for forward-looking art in the 18th century. In fact, Princes Camillo Treasures of Eternity Through the artifacts that have been unearthed in Pompeii and Akortiri (the ancient destroyed city on the island of Santorini), one can take a rare peek into life in these fascinating locales over 2000 years ago. a new exhibit on at the Scuderie del Quirinale, brings together pieces never seen by the public before, including frescoes, vases, statues, paintings, and gems that date all the way back to the Bronze Age. The discoveries on exhibit give visitors a glimpse into what life was like in these towns. See listing on p66. St. John the Baptist, Pompeii and Santorini: An Eternity in One Day, – S. Accetta See listing on page 65 for visiting information. 56 WHERE ROME I NOVEMBER 2019
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