“To Rome and Back” at LACMA | BLOUIN ARTINFO
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“To Rome and Back” at LACMA

“Saint Thomas,” 1703-1704, Perre Le Gross II, Terracotta, 69.53x 46.99x 27.31cm, Los Angeles County Museum of Art
(Photo © Museum Associates / LACMA)

“To Rome and Back: Individualism and Authority in Art, 1500-1800” — on view from June 24, 2018, through March 17, 2019, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art — explores the impact of Roman classicism in European art.

Mostly drawn from LACMA’s permanent collection, the exhibition brings together 130 objects from the museum’s various departments, including paintings, sculptures, works on paper, decorative arts, tapestries, and costumes — illustrating Rome’s influence on artists and audiences working across contexts and eras. “For more than 2,000 years, Rome has occupied a central place in the cultural imagination: as a proud republic, as a powerful then decadent empire, as the seat of Catholicism, and above all, as a link to antiquity and the classical world,” the museum says. “While its fortunes may have waxed and waned over its long history, its classical epithet — the Eternal City — reflects the enduring power of its legacy and its unceasing ability to inspire thinkers, writers, and artists in Italy and beyond.” Presented across seven thematic sections, the exhibition identifies Rome as an epicenter of creative ideas and artistic inspiration for centuries. The period saw great contradictions — between ancient and novel, pagan and Christian, individualism and authority — which enriched the ancient city’s artistic heritage.

The thematic curatorial approach of “To Rome and Back” and the wide range of works from LACMA’s various departments underscore the versatile impact of Rome on the art world during an important era of history, the museum says. “We’re excited to present an exhibition that highlights collaboration across multiple museum departments,” said Michael Govan, LACMA’s director. “By including collection objects and meaningful input from five curatorial areas, we are able to show how the importance of Rome as a source of inspiration is not just about European painting.”

“To Rome and Back is essentially LACMA’s first opportunity to display a significant portion of its European material in a narrative outside of our permanent collection galleries, and effectively showcase some of the museum’s great highlights,” said Leah Lehmbeck, the curator of the exhibition and the acting department head of European Painting and Sculpture at LACMA. “At the same time, we are providing context with lesser-known objects within the museum’s collection, some of which have rarely been on view.”

More information: http://www.lacma.org/

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