From the organizer’s website, 3 February 2010
An event that cannot be missed, as it will never occur again. Sixty five masterpieces of European painting – dating from the sixteenth to the twentieth century – from one of the world’s most important museums, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. An occasion that will never be repeated, as it is the result of the American institute’s temporary closure of a portion of its exhibition space for renovations. In autumn of 2010, the museum will inaugurate an immense new wing designed by Norman Foster. As always happens in these cases, after the renovations are completed the museum will block further loans of its works. As a consequence, over the next few months, Rimini will act as the representative for Boston and its extraordinary museum not only in Italy but in all of Europe.
A great lesson in art history presented to all. The statements from Malcolm Rogers, the director of the American museum, and Marco Goldin, the director of Linea d’Ombra and the curator of this exhibition, were remarkably similar: art is for everyone. They share a common conviction that there should be no obstacles or hindrances to viewing these works of art, these masterpieces from every period, and that they should be able to be admired even by those with no background in art. Although the works cover many important European national schools, the exhibition in Rimini was arranged by Marco Goldin according to a conception of continuous thematic groupings, divided into six sections:
– Religious work
– The nobleness of the portrait
– The intimacy of the portrait
– Still lifes
– The “new” landscape
Thus, in this arrangement, portraits by Tintoretto and Moroni will be displayed alongside an absolute masterpiece, a wonder among wonders, the famous portrait of Edmondo and Thérèse Morbilli painted by Degas in 1865. New conceptions of landscapes will be explored first through a seventeenth-century Dutch work by Van Ruysdael, then through works by Constable and Corot, and finally through highly perceptive views painted first by Van Dyck and later by Gainsborough. Adding to these splendours, the superb group of still lifes begins with Fantin–Latour, the leading Impressionist painter in this genre, and continues with works by Matisse, Gris and Braque. Yet there is still more: the anguish of a sublime Deposition of Christ by Veronese displayed next to the shadowy darkness of a superb painting by Francesco Del Cairo, depicting the head of St. John the Baptist. Another display offers contemporaneous depictions of filial love by Bouguereau, a famous Salon painter, and Renoir. In addition, an incredible series of portraits begins with masterpieces by Velásquez and Rembrandt and ends with an unforgettable large canvas by Picasso featuring a Cubist portrait of a woman, dating from 1910. One of Picasso’s crowning achievements, this work will be displayed alongside a portrait by Hals, to compare a remarkable and similar breaking down of form. The list of wonders continues with a series of seven woks by Claude Monet, a true exhibition within an exhibition that features such famous works as a version of Water Lilies and Japanese Bridge and one of Rouen Cathedral. Also on display, Spanish works by Murillo, El Greco, and Zurbarán. De Hooch, Saenredam and De Witte are represented as well, with their almost metaphysical interiors from seventeenth-century Holland. Not to mention an astounding selection of Impressionist works that will include, in addition to the artists previously mentioned, Manet, Sisley, Pissarro, Cézanne, Bernard, Signac, Gauguin and Van Gogh. In brief, a wealth of beauty that will radiate from Rimini.