Fra'Galgario: Character Painter (1655-1743)
From 31th January 2004 to 10th May 2004
The exhibition devoted to the works of Vittore Ghislandi, known as Fra'Galgario (1655-1743), which has recently been shown in Bergamo, the artist's birthplace, offers the visitor to the Musée des Augustins the chance of a unique encounter with one of the most surprising and modern portrait painters of this pivotal period in art history, the years 1690-1740.
This exhibition, the result of close collaboration with the Accademia Carrara of Bergamo, was an obvious choice for more than one reason: the Musée des Augustins has a remarkable collection of French and Italian portraits from the 17th and 18th Centuries, two of which, of Rigaud and Grimou, figure elsewhere in this retrospective-and several exhibitions have, in recent years, celebrated Italian art and the portrait at the Musée des Augustins.
Constantly searching for the true essence of his subject, a virtuoso of the brushstroke, Fra'Galgario developed lacquers which were much admired in his day. Believing that the paintbrush hindered his ability to express himself, he turned to using his fingers during his last years, accentuating the effect of the medium. Nowadays, his art seems to have great modernity.
The artist's career will be presented in its context, with reference to its connections with Venice, Bologna and Lombardy. Works by Scandinavian, French and Central European painters will be used to illustrate the importance of certain subjects:
self-portraits, portraits of children, informal portraits, official portraits