Philadelphia Museum of Art Opens George Inness in Italy

. February 20, 2011 . 1 Comment

The Philadelphia Museum of Art presents George Inness in Italy on view February 19, 2011 – May 15, 2011.

A canonical figure in American painting, George Inness (1825–1894) is widely admired as the pioneer of the evocative aesthetic known as Tonalism, which is distinguished by soft focus and diaphanous layers of paint. This is the first exhibition to examine the artist’s two Italian sojourns (1851–52 and 1870–74) and their formative impact on his work. Italy—its art and its landscape—offered Inness a font of inspiration as he developed his own unique artistic vision.

George Inness in Italy presents ten oil paintings surveying Inness’s Italian subjects dating from 1850 to 1879. A highlight of the exhibition is Twilight on the Campagna (c. 1851), Inness’s first major work completed in Italy. Recently conserved, the painting has not been on view at the Philadelphia Museum of Art since 1952. Its reemergence and restoration—precipitated by a comprehensive publication, or catalogue raisonné, of Inness’s entire body of work issued in 2007—constitutes a significant rediscovery.

Inness enjoyed his most productive years during his second stay in Italy. His paintings sold well, both as mementos of Italy for affluent American travelers and as progressive stylistic experiments for leading collectors of American landscape painting. Although Inness returned to the United States in 1874, he continued to paint Italian compositions, honing the Tonalist aesthetic that began with his first trip to Italy in 1851. With Twilight on the Campagna as its anchor, George Inness in Italy charts this innovative artist’s development as he formed, interpreted, and later remembered his diverse and vivid impressions of Italy.

Sponsor
This exhibition is organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and its Center for American Art. The exhibition and accompanying catalogue are made possible by grants from The Mr. & Mrs. Raymond J. Horowitz Foundation for the Arts, the Henry Luce Foundation, and the Terra Foundation for American Art, and by a generous gift from Mr. and Mrs. Frank Martucci.

Curator
Mark Mitchell, Associate Curator and Manager, Center for American Art

Related Events:

George Inness and the Art of Italy
Friday, March 11, 2011
Starts at 2:30 p.m.
Location: Van Pelt Auditorium
Paid tickets required
$30 ($24 members) for symposium and keynote lecture
$20 ($16 members) for keynote lecture only (includes book signing)
2:30 p.m. Symposium
6:30 p.m. Keynote Lecture: “Italy as Inspiration” by author Frances Mayes

In this symposium, offered in conjunction with the exhibition George Inness in Italy, leading scholars explore the aesthetic, historical, and international contexts of Inness’s majestic Italian landscapes from the 1850s through the 1870s. Like Inness and countless other American writers, artists, and designers, keynote speaker Frances Mayes draws inspiration from Italy and the Italian landscape. Called “the bard of Tuscany,” she is the author of the memoirs Under the Tuscan Sun and Bella Tuscany.

This symposium and keynote lecture are supported by the Center for American Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, by grants from The Mr. & Mrs. Raymond J. Horowitz Foundation for the Arts, the Henry Luce Foundation, and the Terra Foundation for American Art, and by a generous gift from Mr. and Mrs. Frank Martucci.

Frances Mayes on Italy as Inspiration
Friday, March 11, 2011
Starts at 6:30 p.m.
Location: Van Pelt Auditorium
Paid tickets required
$20 ($16 members), includes book signing
Keynote lecture being held in conjunction with the symposium George Inness and the Art of Italy. Speaker Frances Mayes, author of the memoirs Under the Tuscan Sun and Bella Tuscany, discusses the inspiration of Italy and the Italian landscape.

Image: George Inness Near Perugia, Italy, 1879, American, 1825 – 1894. Oil on canvas, 41 1/2 x 33 3/4 inches (105.4 x 85.7 cm) Framed: 56 x 47 1/2 x 5 inches (142.2 x 120.7 x 12.7 cm). Philadelphia Museum of Art, Collection of Mr. and Mrs. John F. McGuigan Jr.

As one of the largest museums in the United States, the Philadelphia Museum of Art invites visitors from around the world to explore its renowned collections, acclaimed special exhibitions, and enriching programs, both in person and online.

www.philamuseum.org

Category: Fine Art

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