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The exhibition “Classic Beauties: Artists, Italy, and the Aesthetic Ideals of the 18th Century” has opened at the Hermitage–Amsterdam


On 15 June 2018, the exhibition “Classic Beauties: Artists, Italy, and the Aesthetic Ideals of the 18th Century” opened at the Hermitage–Amsterdam exhibition centre.

More than 50 works of painting and sculpture that are the pride of the Hermitage collection will be visiting Amsterdam until 13 January 2019.

Opening the exhibition, Mikhail Piotrovsky, General Director of the State Hermitage, said: “We are continuing to tell about the history of art as it is seen in the Hermitage and from the Hermitage. European culture was founded on the legacy of the Mediterranean Classical world. From time to time, those sources vividly remind us of themselves. That happened during the Renaissance and also during the era of Neo-Classicism that we are presenting today.

“Artists and art lovers saw an ideal in the works of the Classical era. In order to become closer acquainted with it, [Grand Duke] Paul, the heir to the Russian throne, made a delightful journey around Europe. For the same purpose, his daughter Anna Pavlovna, the Queen of the Netherlands, and thousands of other participants in the grand tour travelled to Italy. Today we are on the brink of a new revival of keen interest in the pure beauty of Classical art and we are delighted that the Hermitage is actively involved in this process.

“Its protagonists are the world’s best collection of sculptures by the great Canova, the monumental canvases of Raphael Mengs and Pompeo Batoni, the wise, festive paintings of Angelica Kauffman, the mystical ruins of Hubert Robert. They were admired by the best people of the 18th and 19th centuries. They are bearers of ideals that can also be of use to us today in an age of universal distrust and hostility.”

More about the exhibition

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