RAFFAELLO, BERNINI, RUBENS, REMBRANDT: THE SELF-PORTRAITS OF THE MASTERS OF ART HISTORY FROM THE UFFIZI COLLECTIONS FOR THE FIRST TIME EXHIBITED IN CHINA

From tomorrow to January 8th, 2023 at the Bund One Art Museum in Shanghai, the faces of 50 great artists, including Chagall, Le Brun, Morandi, Balla will be the protagonists: with over two thousand works the Uffizi have the world’s largest collection of this type of artworks.

This is the first chapter of a collaboration project between the Uffizi Galleries and the Bund One Art Museum in Shanghai for the organization of 10 exhibitions in five years in return for an economic support of the Uffizi by the Chinese museum of over six million euros.

The director of the Galleries Eike Schmidt: “in the year of Culture and Tourism Italy-China we are happy to share with the Shanghai public such a significant selection from our collection”

The face of Raphael, those of Bernini, Velàzquez, Rembrandt, Rubens, Chagall, Le Brun and many other undisputed geniuses of art history. They will be the stars of the great international exhibition ‘Self-portraits. Masterpieces from the Uffizi, from tomorrow to January 8th, 2023 at the Bund One Art Museum in Shanghai, which will exhibit for the first time in China a selection from the collection of self-portraits of the Uffizi Gallery, the world’s largest with its over two thousand works.

Started in the seventeenth century by Cardinal Leopoldo de ‘Medici, never interrupted over the centuries, still increasing thanks to targeted acquisitions of works by artists no longer alive and carefully selected donations from contemporary artists, the collection of self-portraits of the Uffizi is unrivaled in the museum panorama from all over the world.

The self-portrait is the only way for living artists to enter the prestigious collection of the Uffizi and recently works of street art and comics have also been welcomed.

50 paintings are at the center of the exhibition, representing pages of poignant beauty. Chagall‘s blue face enchants no less than Morandi‘s work, painted as dry as one of his still lifes. Faces sometimes ironic like the portrait of Nicola van Houbraken tearing open the canvas and seeming to come out of the picture. The ‘Autocaffè by Balla, or Guttuso‘s self-portrait possess a unique charm. But all gain strength as a whole. The exhibition offers the viewer the privilege of physically observing the artists’ eyes, so eager to tell about themselves and of their times through their own gaze.

Being face to face with these great artists is a precious opportunity to pause and reflect on the strength, not only expressive but also symbolic, of their (self) representations, and at the same time to get to know and enter into direct dialogue with the great masters of art of the past and present.

The exhibition, curated by Alessandra Griffo and Vanessa Gavioli, is part of the events scheduled for 2022, the Year of Culture and Tourism Italy-China.

This is the first chapter of the collaboration with the Bund One Art Museum which includes an ambitious program: a series of ten exhibitions, which will embrace various segments of the Uffizi Galleries’ collections, scheduled for the next five years; for its part, the Shanghai museum will support the Uffizi with over six million euros.

The extensive multi-year program is the result of a shared effort, supported by the Ministry of Culture, the Embassy of Italy in the People’s Republic of China, the Consulate General of Italy in Shanghai and the Italian Cultural Institute in Shanghai, aimed at constantly promoting the Italian museum system and artistic heritage in the world. Shanghai Tix Media with Bund One Art Museum pursues the mission of offering the Chinese public the opportunity to discover in China the original works of the most beloved masters of Italian art.

The Uffizi Galleries director’s Eike Schmidt: “While the individual personality of each artist can be grasped in each of these paintings, putting together such a well-chosen group of self-portrait masterpieces shows the special responsibility of artists as great communicators in the development of human society. 2022 is the Year of Italy-China Culture and Tourism: the Uffizi are therefore particularly happy to share such a significant selection of our superb collection of self-portraits with the Shanghai public at this particular moment. A collection that is unmatched in the international art scene and which, thanks to the tireless work carried out daily by the Galleries, continues to grow even today”.

The Consul General in Shanghai Tiziana D’Angelo: “It is a matter of great pride for me to celebrate this extraordinary collaboration between Gallerie degli Uffizi and Bund One Art Museum in Shanghai in the 2022 Italy-China Year of Culture and Tourism. The Italian and Chinese people are not only both heirs to millennia of history, they are also united by their passion for art and beauty. Self-portraits. Masterpieces from the Uffizi’ is the first of a series of initiatives that aim to make the Uffizi Galleries, Florence and Italian culture in general the true protagonists of Shanghai’s cultural scene in the next five years. This series of events will no doubt constitute a unique opportunity to strengthen knowledge and love for Italian art and creativity worldwide”.

The director of the Italian Cultural Institute in Shanghai Francesco D’Arelli: ” ‘Self-portraits. Masterpieces from the Uffizi is a gallery of glances, an open book of artists’ faces, who have written, from the Renaissance to the contemporary era, some of the most memorable pages in the history of art. Florence and Shanghai, the Uffizi Galleries and the Bund One Art Museum continue to look at each other with the curiosity of culture and art that has always marked the dialogue between Italy and China, cradles of the most ancient civilizations”.

 

Press release from the Uffizi Galleries

Dove i classici si incontrano. ClassiCult è una Testata Giornalistica registrata presso il Tribunale di Bari numero R.G. 5753/2018 – R.S. 17. Direttore Responsabile Domenico Saracino, Vice Direttrice Alessandra Randazzo

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