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Modern art

Gemito (1852-1929). The sculptor of the Neapolitan soul

75 min visit

Petit Palais
15 Oct → 26 Jan 2020
From Tue to Sun 10 am to 6 pm. Closed Mon. Nocturnal Fri until 9 pm for exhibitions.

« An extraordinary journey of this Neapolitan sculptor, raised in the street and now famous!  »

A first in Paris. To open its Neapolitan season, Le Petit-Palais is devoting an exhibition to the work of sculptor Vincenzo Gemito (1852-1929), unpublished in France. Considered one of the strongest personalities in Italian art at the end of the 19th century, Gemito is the author of a varied work of sculptor and draftsman, which includes portraits of celebrities such as Verdi, as well as figures depicting the small Neapolitan people. Gemito's story is that of a foundling raised in the streets of Naples who will become one of the greatest sculptors of his time, celebrated in his hometown and then in the rest of Italy and Europe. At twenty-five years old, he caused a sensation at the Salon in Paris and the following year at the 1878 Universal Exhibition. In turn criticized and adored by critics, he introduced realism into Italian sculpture. From his triumph at the Paris Universal Exhibition in 1878 to his fight against the mental illness that gnawed at him, the exhibition retraces the journey of this artist with his inimitable style, combining virtuosity and realism. With nearly 120 works, the Petit Palais offers a real rediscovery with the exceptional collaboration of the Capodimonte Museum in Naples, where the exhibition will then be presented. In addition, a space is dedicated to the casting of lost wax bronze - a complex technique that Gemito helped to revive in the 19th century - through a short film and tactile modules accessible to all. A digital digital device shows in particular the different stages of manufacture, from the plaster model to the bronze print, including the wax proof.


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