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This exhibition held in Palazzo Zabarella in Padua, just a short train ride (30 min. only) from Venice, is the first to be dedicated to the extraordinary vicissitudes of the portrait, a painting genre that was traditionally considered to be minor but which, during the Nineteenth Century, was able to interpret the multiple aspects of that century with greater intensity than the more important genres such as historical and religious painting. It thus became the mirror of a history and humanity undergoing profound changes.
Canova and Modigliani, two internationally renowned protagonists but with absolutely different personalities, open and close this passionate tale in paintings in which both great names in history and the anonymous extras of a domestic epic appear. Painted and sculptured, of individuals and groups, with or without a setting, celebrative or introspective, these portraits all evoke the changes and restlessness of a society undergoing rapid transformation, interpreting the expectations of a country that was achieving political unity for the very first time. However, above all they also represent decisive changes in style, the artists’ efforts to become more modern, to testify reality in its incessant transformation from a new perspective.

From October 2nd, 2010 till February 27th, 2011
Palazzo Zabarella, via san Francesco, 27 - Padova
tel. 049 8753100
fax  049 8752959