Painting in Rome is not only Vatican Museums and Borghese Gallery, it is much, much more! And the alternative is not only represented by private art galleries with their mostly contemporary works, but by these exhibitions.
Let’s start with the Scuderie del Quirinale, this exposition place next to our President’s Palace in a very central and convenient location. Until June 12 here you will see one of the great colour Masters of Italian painting, Lorenzo Lotto. This Renaissance artist worked mainly in North-Eastern Italy but the works shown for the exhibit come from all over the world: Louvre, Metropolitan, National Gallery. Nearly half of his 150 known works are on show, enlightened by a special led that gives more depth to Lotto’s colours. Unerestimated for many centuries, this sensitive and modern painter will fascinate you with his ability to talk to the human soul.
Another venue totally devoted to exhibition hosting is the Vittoriano, in piazza Venezia. One of the queens of the 20th century painting, Tamara de Lempicka, will be on display with 90 paintings, 30 drawings and 50 photos until July 10. Two of the works are owned by Angelica Houston, while five are property of Jack Nicholson for this Hollywood-style heroine. A legendary, eccentric, polyglot, ambiguous figure will emerge from what is one of the biggest shows ever devoted to her. Always open. Monday to Thursday: 9:30am-7:30pm. Friday and Saturday until 11:30 pm. On Sunday until 8:30 pm.
More than a 100 paintings by English artists strongly affected by Italian art, the so-called Pre-Raphaelites, are hosted by one of our favorite Roman museums: the National Gallery of Modern Art. Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Edward Burne-Jones but also less known figures such as Lord Leighton, Albert Moore or George Watts were ispired by Italian paintings of schools and artists that came before Raphael. On show also the works of Italian 20th century painters who rediscovered Italian art through the works of these English masters. What a big link between Italian and English art! The same institution is also hosting another interesting exhibits of works that are usually kept in its store for space limits. On show Burri, Fontana, Manzoni and many other key figures of Italy’s contemporary art. Gnam (grandi nuclei di arte contemporanea) will run until June 5.
And the Roman brand new Museum, MAXXI, couldn’t be out of our picks. The newly-opened 21st century art museum of Rome has organized a display of one of Italy’s most revolutionary artists, Michelangelo Pistoletto. With the contribution of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the exhibit includes works from the mid-50s to the mid-70s mostly from private collection. We particularly liked his mirror paintings, simply brilliant! But you will also see his poor art works with multi-coloured rags, for which he has become famous worldwide, his very peculiar sculptures and art installations.
Two more little things. If you’re looking for something very original and off the beaten track, then the Indian Tribal Art exhibit at ISIAO is for you. Photos, drawings and wood paintings from the tribal artists of the Indian state of Jharkhand. Until April 28. Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9am to 2pm. Tuesday and Thursday from 9 am to 5pm. Free entrance.
If you’re more into Roman things, then you can’t miss the watercolours by Onorato Carlandi at Museo di Roma. Poetic views and moments of the eternal city and its countryside of the late 19th century will be on show until July 3.