LOCATION: Fortuny Museum
This exhibition at Fortuny Museum in Venice is the result of a long research on the iconographic and aesthetic influence of Richard Wagner and the ‘Wagnerism’ on the visual arts in Italy between the end of the 19th century and the early decades of the 20th, a theme that was never before the object of focused studies or exhibitions. Mariano Fortuny was one of the leading protagonists in this field, and his entire Wagnerian cycle – comprising 47 paintings owned by the museum –, together with numerous engravings, will be displayed for the first time. His works, some of which were never exhibited before and many restored for the occasion, will be compared to those of other Italian artists, such as Lionello Balestrieri, who was inspired by the characters and scenes in Wagner’s operas, whose bicentenary birth will be celebrated in 2013. The exhibition will be enriched by a wide-ranging documentary section and by a series of focuses on illustration, caricature and poster design. An unseen gouache by Mario de Maria, consisting of a preparatory sketch for a famous portrait of Wagner’s stepdaughter will be displayed for the first time. To round off the exhibition and document the influence of Wagner’s work on contemporary artists, there will be an interesting selection of visual works by important artists such as Antoni Tapies, Bill Viola, and Anselm Kiefer.