Renoir Exhibit in Rome

A wonderful exhibit of Renoir works is being held as we speak in Rome at the Complesso del Vittoriano (see map below for exact location), curated by Kathleen Adler. The exhibition runs from March 7, 2008 until June 29th, 2008. This is a great thing to do, especially on those warm days when you want to get out of the sun and crowds.

This exhibit is meant to show how Italian art had a profound impact on Renoir’s artistic development, and it is no coincidence that this exhibition is being held in Rome. The city and the numerous works of art housed here had a profound effect on the French artist whose short trip to Italy from October of 1881 to January of 1882. While his trip last only a few months — a veritable blink in the artist’s vast career, it is said that Raphael’s work at the Villa Farnesina impressed Renoir’s style and development as an artist (not to mention the other marvelous works of art in Italy!). The curator of the exhibit refers to Renoir’s Italian trip as a focal point in his artistic development, and who could disagree?

The exhibition contains about 130 or so works that Renoir painted after his trip to Italy, and the exhibit is meant to show Renoir’s artistic development as well as juxtaposes his earlier styles before his arrival in Italy and his paintings that were done afterwards.

It’s not often that so many works by such a great artist are in one location. There’s something to be said about being able to experience a spectrum of an artist’s work so that the context in which it was created can be more fully appreciated than what one might experience seeing only a handful of such works through many different museums. If you’re in Rome, I encourage you to check out the exhibit.

Tickets are 10 euro. If you qualify for a reduced ticket price (students, senior citizens – not sure who would qualify), the cost is 7.50 euro. The exhibition is open:

  • Monday through Thursday from 9:30am until 7:30pm
  • Friday and Saturday from 9:30am until 11:3opm
  • Sundays from 9:30am to 8:30pm

The exhibit’s web site,, has an introductory essay in Italian, but I have summarized many of the points presented in the short essay here. If you attend the exhibition, I am confident that there are English language materials to assist in understanding and appreciating the exhibition.

This site has a list of all the works that comprise the exhibit can also be found on the site as well as some sample images.

The exhibition can be found here:

Visualizzazione ingrandita della mappa

*image courtesy of Comunicare Organizzando: La baia di Napoli con il Vesuvio sullo sfondo (1881)
The Bay of Naples with Vesuvius in the background (1881)
oil on canvas; cm 57.9 x 30.8 cm;
Williamstown, Massachusetts, The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute,
Williamstown, Massachusetts