“Picturesque and Heroic: Nineteenth-Century Painters Imagining the Eternal City” on November 15

For Immediate Release

October 27, 2009

Explore the paradoxes of ancient and modern Rome’s place in the nineteenth century with assistant deputy director Tom Loughman at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Loughman’s lecture, “Picturesque and Heroic: Nineteenth-Century Painters Imagining the Eternal City,” on Sunday, November 15, at 3 pm, complements the Steps off the Beaten Path: Nineteenth-Century Photographs of Rome and its Environs exhibition currently on view. Admission is free.

Fascinated by both the fantasies and realities of Rome, artists of the nineteenth century created a myriad of differing artistic compositions of the city. Some painters such as Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot depicted Rome in a rustic and threadbare fashion while others such as Jean-Léon Gérôme portrayed Rome in a hyper-dramatic and grandiose style. Join Loughman as he explores the artistic parallels to Italy’s political and social flux during the nineteenth century.

Technical innovations, artistic daring, and shifting socio-political circumstances led to a dramatic change in the photography of Rome in the late nineteenth century. Photographers of the Eternal City began to capture everyday scenes alongside ancient ruins, Baroque churches, and backstreets, all of which industrialization was rapidly transforming. Through the 100 images in Steps off the Beaten Path, viewers today can step into a Rome that was about to step out of the pre-industrial age. The exhibition is on view at the Clark through January 3, 2010.

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm (open daily in July and August). Admission is free November through May. Admission June 1 through October 31 is $12.50 for adults, free for children 18 and younger, members, and students with valid ID. For more information, call 413-458-2303 or visit clarkart.edu.

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