L'arte per l'arte. From Previati to Mentessi, Boldini to De Pisis: a New Display at the Este Castle

The Este Castle hosts a selection of works of art by Giovanni Boldini, Filippo de Pisis, Gaetano Previati, Giuseppe Mentessi and other artists from Ferrara active in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries

On 15 June 2016, the Este Castle will launch a new display of masterpieces of modern art from Ferrara. A new exhibition of works by Giovanni Boldini, Gaetano Previati, Giuseppe Mentessi and other artists active in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries will join the exhibition devoted to Filippo de Pisis in the sumptuous setting of Ferrara’s symbol monument. This is another chance to admire a part of the heritage of the Gallerie d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea that were installed in Palazzo Massari until the 2012 earthquake. The organizers and curators’aim has been to keep the museums going despite the closure of their headquarters for restoration, and provide a new opportunity to visit the Este Castle.

The 2016 edition of L’arte per l’arte begins with a glimpse into Italian art between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, focusing on the contribution of artists from Ferrara. In the richly decorated rooms on the main floor of the Este Castle, there will be a new exhibition with a brief yet fascinating journey through some of the different artistic orientations that, at the turn of the century, competed to renew the conventional idioms of art: from the poetics ot truth to the art of ideas, from the Macchiaioli to divisionism, the representation of modern life to the decorative charm of art nouveau. The protagonists include Ferrarese artists who were active on the Italian scene, such as Giuseppe Mentessi, Alberto Pisa and Arrigo Minerbi, and alongside them, internationally renowned figures like Giovanni Boldini, celebrated portraitist of the Belle Epoque, and Gaetano Previati, an exponent of divisionism and symbolism. The exhibit is organized into themed rooms that follow the leitmotivs behind the artistic researches of the period: modern portraiture and its new codes, historical-allegorical themes and the dimension of monumental decoration, the new themes of modernity, the real landscape and the landscape of the soul, moral and spiritual tensions on the eve of the Great War.

The exhibition continues to the precious chamers of Alfonso I, which still features the selection of masterpieces by Filippo de Pisis that surveys the career of another Ferrarese talent active on the Italian and Parisian stage starting in the 1920s. Ferrara’s impressive collection of de Pisis’ works, put together largely thanks to the Fondazione Pianori and the generous bequest of Manlio and Franca Malabotta, allows visitors to see his entire creative trajectory. From his early works, which reflect De Pisis’ encounter with Giorgio de Chirico and metaphysical painting, to the masterpieces from his Parisian period that mark the birth of his own personal style, a pictorial transcript of the searing emotions that the city of light brought the painter, up to his production following his return to Italy, extreme works where the poetry of the image is stripped down to its essense.