06 Oct The Alana Collection
The Alana Collection: Masterpieces of Italian Painting
The Jacquemart-André Museum in Paris never disappoints, hitting the mark dead-on once again in “Alana Collection: Masterpieces of Italian Painting” exhibition.
As we read in the exhibition brochure, the Alana Collection is one of the most valuable and little-known private collections of Italian Renaissance art in the world.
Just reading the names of the artists shown here will leave your mouth agape. Ready? First, the Florentine primitive artists like Beato Angelico, Filippo Lippi, Bernardo Daddi, Niccolò di Pietro Gerini. The Sienese artists like Lorenzo Monaco, Luca di Tommè. The Pisan painters, such as the unique Francesco Traini.
Of course, there are the Tuscan Renaissance painters, such as Paolo Uccello, Franciabigio, Lo Scheggia, and Umbrian painters like Luca Signorelli, and greats like Carlo Dolci, Annibale Carracci, and Savoldo.
And, naturally, we couldn’t do without great Venetian painters like Bellini, Vittore Carpaccio, Giacomo Bassano, Tintoretto, and Paolo Veronese, and a pinch of Bronzino and Orazio Gentileschi.
Ok, we can catch our breath now.
This museum-worthy collection is jaw-dropping, all the more if you consider that all of these works are shown together for the first time. It’s definitely a show not to miss!
The arrangement of the artworks impresses from the very first room.
They made the daring choice of an old-style exhibition approach with all the paintings hanging one after the other, close together, almost touching, making a real vision.
Especially at crowd-pleasing exhibitions these days, we are used to sparse displays of paintings with soft lights and only a few works.
This is away meant to influence the audience, give the artworks an importance they might not actually have.
In such shows, there is a topic, often chosen at random, an excuse to group works together that have nothing to do with each other, with the only real criteria that they be blue-chip international art.
Obviously, the only purpose of these so-called blockbuster exhibitions is to attract as much revenue as possible, no matter that they are always from private collections and will often be then sold at auction houses like Christie’s and Sotheby’s.
And, well, too bad for those who go to exhibitions to learn something or see new contributions to the field.
But let’s get back to this wonderful exhibition.
There’s something else here that makes us think: a panel in the exhibition bearing a sentence by Alvaro Saieh.
The art patron, with his wife Ana Guzmán to whom we owe this exhibition. (By the by, it’s the start of their names “Al-Ana” for which the collection is named.)
The sentence reads: “I want to create a collection that is representative of Italian art of the Renaissance as well as the meaning that it can have for culture today.”
“Vaste chantier,” as they say in French about big undertakings.
What meaning might Renaissance culture have today?
We’ll leave you with this interesting question and bid you farewell until the next Magazine post.
The Alana Collection
Masterpieces of Italian Painting
From 13 September 2019 to 20 January 2020