Italian Painting, from Pérugin to Guardi
Italian Painting at the Musée des Augustins
From 22th February 2003 to 26th May 2003
The great names in the museum's Italian collection are an obvious indication of its richness: Perugino, Guido Reni, le Guerchin and Guardi, to name but a few.
Fifty of the most beautiful works, from the 15th to the 18th Centuries, have been chosen for an exhibition in the museum's church. Some canvases by grand masters with a close link to the collection, lent by prestigious European museums (Rome, Florence, and Bremen), complement the museum's works. Displaying these loans and the best of the museum's Italian collection on one site will shed new light on works that are well-known to people from Toulouse, such as Francesco Guardi's Le Pont du Rialto (The Rialto Bridge).
This exhibition is accompanied by a descriptive catalogue of the museum's collection of Italian paintings, the fruit of two years of committed research and study that has resulted, notably, in a certain number of reattributions.
The museum's collection of Italian paintings has been built up progressively as a result of historical events. On its foundation in 1795, the temporary Muséum du Midi de la République housed the Bernis and Le Tonnelier de Breteuil collections seized in 1794 in Albi and Montauban. The former was rich in 18th Century Italian works. As one of the fifteen regional museums created in 1801, Toulouse received sizeable allocations from the State in 1803, 1805 and 1812. This collection, the definitive property of the City of Toulouse since the enactment of the 2002 law on museums, contains major works from the main European schools, including the Italian. Since 1812, the only major additions to the museum's collection have been items from the large Campana collection between 1863 and 1873 and the Maury bequest in 1892. In the 20th Century, new allocations were made by the Louvre between 1952 and 1960 and the only purchase of importance was that of the Calvet collection in 1971.