New York, NY: 17 December 2010 - Sperone Westwater is pleased to announce an exhibition of Italian Paintings from the 17th and 18th Centuries in partnership with Robilant + Voena. This survey of Italian Old Master paintings, with notable masterpieces by painters such as Canaletto (1697-1768), Cavalier d’Arpino (1568-1640), Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-1653), and Michele Marieschi (1710-1743), intends to reassert the historical importance of Italian painting in the centuries following the Renaissance – a period which was to become an important foundation for modern art.
The exhibition unveils several new discoveries. One highlight is a very uncommon signed Portrait of an Unidentified Man (1630-1640) by Artemisia Gentileschi, among the most highly regarded female artists of the Baroque. It is exhibited alongside Tiberio Titi’s Portrait of Ferdinando Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua (ca. 1617) – also a new addition to his body of work. An early Francesco Guardi, Piazza San Marco, looking West, from the Campo di San Basso (1757-1758), a newly discovered work from the late 1750s, represents a period when he was still very much under Canaletto’s influence. When comparing this to Guardi’s later and previously unpublished painting, Venice. The Lagoon and the Fort of San Niccolo at Lido (1775-1785), it is possible to see how far the artist took his own individual interpretation of the Venetian veduta. Canaletto’s small and exquisite View of Dolo at the bank of the Brenta (1763) completes this set of important additions.
Other early masterworks will include two rare paintings by Cavalier d’Arpino, who first hosted Caravaggio in his studio after his arrival in Rome. The first, David with the Head of Goliath (1598) is a signed and dated work from the extensive Aldobrandini collection that was treasured by several papal Cardinals since its creation. It contrasts forcefully with d’Arpino’s Venus and Cupid (1602-1603), executed a few years later. Works by Battistello Caracciolo, Angelo Caroselli and Carlo Dolci further exemplify the prominence of religious narrative during the 17th century. Paintings by Marieschi, Panini and Joli also underline the 18th century fascination with the veduta.
By jointly exhibiting Italian Baroque paintings and vedute from the 17th and 18th Centuries in New York, Sperone Westwater and Robilant + Voena inaugurate a closer partnership between the two galleries. In 2011 both galleries will open a new shared space in London, 2nd Floor at 38 Dover Street, W1, with a joint show in 2011.