Classic Beauties in Amsterdam

I was impressed by the exhibition of Classic Beauties in The Hermitage of Amsterdam. Through the eyes of the artists I travelled back in time to Italy of the 18th century. The amazing marble statues, the paintings full of seduction with all the aesthetic ideals, and the beautiful music.

Classic Beauties in Amsterdam, The Hermitage


In the second half of the eighteenth century the whole of Europe was captivated by the discovery of Pompeii, Herculaneum and other excavations in Italy. The excavated treasures exceeded all expectations, people watched with bated breath to the stupefying beauty of it.
These finds gave fresh inspiration to artists to rediscover classic physical beauty and perfect its depiction. They also sparked a craze for travel among young aristocrats across the continent. Many undertook the Grand Tour: a pilgrimage to Italy, and in particular Rome, lasting many months. Among them were Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and the ‘Count and Countess of the North’ (the later Russian Tsar Paul I and his wife Maria Fyodorovna).
Arriving in the Eternal City, Grand Tourists encountered renowned artists: Pompeo Batoni, Anton Raphael Mengs, Angelika Kauffmann and – most famous of all – Antonio Canova.

The human body has fascinated artists throughout the centuries. In the mid-eighteenth century this topic in art was given a new lease of life due to spectacular archaeological discoveries in Italy. Nude sculptures became more and more common. Though they imitated the art of classical antiquity, they were more prudish and nudity was only acceptable with a theme.
Artists like Canova, Thorvaldsen, Mengs, Kauffmann and Batoni pursued absolute perfection, a divine beauty, surpassing even the (aesthetic) ideals of the Greeks and Romans. Many artists and high-ranking young men set off for Italy to see the sources of inspiration for themselves.

In this exhibition you take a Grand Tour of the finest examples of Neoclassical art from the Hermitage, with over sixty sculptures, paintings and drawings by 25 top names, including the unrivalled Canova collection with The Three Graces. During the tour you can listen also to mythological stories.

The Three Graces - Antonio Canova - Hermitage - Amsterdam
The Three Graces, Aglaia, Euphrosyne and Thalia - Antonio Canova
Antonio Canova (1757-1822) occupies a place of honor in the exhibition. In a separate room with a beautiful oval decor with inflated motifs from Piranesi prints, a handful of elegant and largely nude, life-size sculptures and sculptures have been set up.
The smooth finish of the curves in porcelain-like marble is excellent due to a sophisticated lighting that sometimes weakens and then swells again. The marble statues look so soft that you would want to caress them.

The music tour by classical music DJ Von Rosenthal, is making the tour complete. The music is amazing, it takes you back to the 18th century and it makes you feel living in that time,

If you want to admire this exhibition too, you have to hurry it is until the 13th of January 2019.

Close up The Three Graces - Antonio Canova - Hermitage - Amsterdam
Detail of The Three Graces

Canova - Cupid and Psyche
Cupid and Psyche holding a butterfly, symbol of the soul in Ancient Greece

Statue by Canova with in the background engravings by Giovanni Battista Piranesi
Dancer by Canova with in the background engravings by Giovanni Battista Piranesi

Canova - Hebe
Hebe, statue by Canova with in the background engravings by Giovanni Battista Piranesi

Detail of Statue Cupid - Caranova
Amazing what Canova created with marble - detail of Cupid

Hubert Robert - Palace entrance with a portico and Caryatides
Hubert Robert - Palace entrance with a portico and Caryatides

Detail of 4 muses of the painting Parnassus by Anton Raphael Mengs
Polyhymnia, Urania, Euterpe, Melpomene in the home of Apollo,  detail of Parnassus

Detail of the painting Parnassus by Anton Raphael Mengs
Terpsichore, Erato and Calliope, muses in the home of Apollo, Parnassus, 

Detail View of the Villa Ludovisi Park in Rome by Claude Joseph Vernet
Detail View of the Villa Ludovisi Park in Rome by Claude Joseph Vernet

Angelica Kauffman
Angelica Kauffmann - self portrait

Head of Athina
Head of Athena

Apollo of the Belvedere by Carlo Albacini - View on Rome
Apollo of the Belvedere by Carlo Albacini

Marble statue  - Hermitage Amsterdam
Marble statue - Hermitage Amsterdam
Since a young girl I am intrigued by the Ancient Greeks and Romans. I enjoyed reading Homerus and later on the greek philosophers. So let me be captured with Plato's book!

Photo kiosk in Hermitage Amsterdam
Visiting the Hermitage in Amsterdam!

Classic Beauties in Amsterdam Classic Beauties in Amsterdam Reviewed by Patricia Munster on 4:27:00 AM Rating: 5

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