Enchantingly Real: Bernardo Bellotto at the Court of Saxony

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Sunday, June 16, 2024

Enchantingly Real: Bernardo Bellotto at the Court of Saxony
Bernardo Bellotto, Dresden vom rechten Elbufer unterhalb der Augustusbrücke, 1748
© Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Foto: Elke Estel/Hans-Peter Klut.

DRESDEN.- This retrospective celebrates the Venetian artist Bernardo Bellotto (1722–1780) three hundred years after the artist’s birth. Bellotto, who, like his uncle and teacher Antonio Canal, went by the name Canaletto, is considered one of the eighteenth century’s most important painters of the town scenes known as “vedute”. To this day, his paintings offer us a unique insight into the architecture and everyday life of the baroque period.

The roughly 140 exhibits on show in the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister paint Bellotto’s life and works in a fresh light, focusing on the milestones of his career as an artist.

Following his early days in Venice, Bellotto moved to Dresden in 1747, where he painted large-scale vedute for the Saxon Prince Electors, for Frederick Augustus III – King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania – and for the latter’s prime minister Heinrich, count von Brühl. After spending time in Vienna and Munich, then a second period of five years in Dresden, which had been left in ruins by the Seven Years’ War, the artist moved to Warsaw in 1766. Alongside some rarely exhibited paintings and numerous drawings, the exhibition also presents eleven vedute of the city of Warsaw, painted at that time for the Polish King Stanislaus II Augustus Poniatowski.

A royal sedan chair decorated with allegorical images marks Bellotto’s arrival at the Dresden court and segues to the paintings from his first creative phase in Saxony. The vedute he created here paint an impressive picture of the royal seat and its buildings, the many details shedding light on the manifold facets of human life and relationships.

One of the paintings on show will be “Dresden From the Right Bank of the Elbe Below the Augustus Bridge”, best known as the “Canaletto-Blick” or Canaletto view. Dating to 1748, it still shapes how Dresden is seen by the outside world.

The exhibition goes on another excursus into what are known as “capricci” – paintings combining various architectural elements to make atmospheric compositions. Bellotto painted fantastical caprices of this kind during both his early days in Italy and his second phase in Dresden, when he taught perspective as a Reader at the Academy of Fine Arts.

The presentation continues on the second floor of the Gemäldegalerie, where several rooms are dedicated to the fortresses of Königstein and Sonnenstein, and numerous views of the town of Pirna. Alongside them, instruments from the Mathematisch-Physikalischer Salon shed light on how important land surveys were at the time to the Saxon rulers seeking to depict their dominions in such images.

Items from the Dresden inventory are supplemented by valuable loans. Both paintings and drawings from Warsaw and Darmstadt are on show, as well as numerous etchings by Bellotto himself from the Dresden Kupferstich-Kabinett, which holds an exceptionally complete collection of the artist’s works on paper. Exhibited alongside the paintings, they reveal the entire spectrum of Bellotto’s innovation. An entire room is dedicated to the inventory of lost works from his Dresden home, with paintings, handicrafts, porcelains and his large library.

The exhibition conveys a vivid impression of what was always (and still is) the focus of Bellotto’s paintings: the city, its surroundings and its people.

At the same time, this comprehensive retrospective in the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister is the culmination of a long-term restoration project, and presents the gallery’s 36 paintings by Bellotto – the world’s largest collection – including some vedute that have so far rarely been on display.

Among other places, some important international loans come from the Royal Castle in Warsaw, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin, the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna and the National Gallery in London.

The Sandstein Verlag publishing house will be bringing out a catalogue for the exhibition: Enchantingly Real: Bernardo Bellotto at the Court of Saxony, by Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, 256 pages, €48.00, ISBN 978-3-95498-677-4.

The exhibition is based on a joint initiative with the museum at the Royal Castle in Warsaw, where a modified version will subsequently be on show.

Today's News

July 17, 2022

Head of Documenta resigns amid antisemitism scandal

University Research Gallery at Harvard presents "Crossroads: Drawing the Dutch Landscape"

Gagosian presents 'Pat Steir: Paintings, Part II'

Louise Giovanelli's first exhibition with White Cube opens in London

Louisiana Museum of Modern Art opens the first European survey of Alex Da Corte's work

Olafur Eliasson's Sonnenenergie 22 installed in the light-flooded Rotunda of the Pinakothek der Moderne

Catherine Wood appointed Tate Modern's Director of Programme

Tate Liverpool presents a major exhibition showing a century of landscape art

The war in Ukraine is the true culture war

The Ukrainian Museum exhibits the last photographs taken by a slain Ukrainian war correspondent

Alexander Gray Associates presents "Steve Locke: Homage to the Auction Block"

Automobilia and collectibles from the Estate of Francis E. Tarzian, Sr., go up for bid at Turner Auctions + Appraisals

Betty Parsons Catalogue Raisonné launches online

Fábio Menino's first solo exhibition in the United States opens at Jupiter Contemporary

First solo exhibition in Austria by Rebecca Warren opens at The Belvedere 21

Museum of the African Diaspora expanding its Emerging Artists Program with grant from IMLS

Galerie Chantal Crousel presents "Mona Hatoum Performance Documents, 1980-1987/2013"

Farah Atassi's third solo exhibition with Almine Rech opens in Shanghai

Remai Modern hosts most comprehensive presentation of works by Tino Sehgal in Canada

Dutch pavilion at the 23rd Triennale Milano International Exhibition; winner of the Golden Bee Award

PHI announces winners of the International Architecture Competition for PHI Contemporary

'T' Space opens an exhibition of new works by Arlene Shechet

Enchantingly Real: Bernardo Bellotto at the Court of Saxony

Ramon de Oliveira Announces That Social Tango Will Tour North America

How to Find Motivation in Writing College Papers without Third-Party Help

Best Cheats, Hacks, and Aimbots for EFT from Skycheats

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez
Writer: Ofelia Zurbia Betancourt

Royalville Communications, Inc

ignaciovillarreal.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful