Botero, Boldini, Fire Artist at Rome Complesso del Vittoriano


Botero Horse Sculpting
Complesso del Vittoriano

Museums and exhibition halls in Rome’s Complesso del Vittoriano – the “Altar of the Italian Nation” – are known for hosting great art. A “symbolic monument,” the complex “celebrates Vittorio Emanuele II of Savoy, the first King of a unified Italy”. Two showings are now running:

  • Fernando Botero
  • Giovanni Boldini
Botero Still Life
Fernando Botero
Colombian Artist Fernando Botero

Botero’s show celebrates the Colombian artist’s 85th birthday and exhibits art from 60 years of his career – 1958 to 2016. His style, known as “Boterismo, depicts people and figures in large, exaggerated volume, which represents political criticism or humor, depending on the piece”.

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“Botero’s paintings transport the viewer into a fantastical, dreamlike dimension pervaded by nostalgia and echoes of a world that no longer exists or is fast disappearing”.

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Botero’s work was displayed in categories – sculpting, still life, political and religious, nudes, and memories of Latin America. It was simply incredible seeing his creations so close! I spent several hours viewing his big, bold, beautiful paintings and sculpting. He lived much of his life in Paris, but Colombia and Latin America had a profound effect on his art. He was “attracted to the work of Spanish painters Francisco de Goya and Diego Velázquez“.

Portrait Lina Cavalieri – Giovanni Boldini
Giovanni Boldini
Boldini
Italo-French Artist Giovanni Boldini

The Boldini show reconstructs “step by step the outstanding career of the artist”. He “superbly conveyed and exalted female beauty – revealing the innermost mysterious soul of the ladies of the period, whom he regarded as fragile icons”. The exhibit includes representative Boldini oils and pastels, drawings and engravings, and a few works by his contemporaries, a group of Macchiaioli artists.

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“Giovanni Boldini, the protagonist of the Belle Époque, was an extraordinary painter who immortalized in his portraits the most beautiful women of Parisian high society.“

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Giovanni Boldini Portrait Mrs. Howard Johnston
Lady with Horse Boldini

Boldini’s elegant work is amazing – but viewing his small, delicate brush strokes was a major transition after Botero’s much larger images. Boldini lived to be 89, but in his later years, he gave up painting because of a loss of vision.

Giovanni Boldini The Return of The Fishing Boats
I Say – The Fire Artist

Rome’s Fire Artist I Say

The alcove featured a retrospective pop-art exhibition – “Combustion” – by Rome’s Fire Artist, I Say. His work is popular in the US and Rome and is showing at Dicò Art Gallery.

I Say divides his work into three categories – Burning, Celebrity, and Urban. His creations are “in private collections of leaders – both Italian and international – from the world of culture, entertainment, finance, and sport”.

I thoroughly enjoyed all three exhibits, but admit Botero was my favorite. It was a privilege to see his work in person!

Rome Complesso del Vittoriano – miramuseo.com

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