The Clark Art Institute (see map) in Williamstown, MA has scheduled a free lecture related to the current exhibition, Steps off the Beaten Path: Nineteenth-Century Photographs of Rome and its Environs, to be given by assistant deputy director Tom Loughman on Sunday, November 15, at 3 pm. The lecture, “Picturesque and Heroic: Nineteenth-Century Painters Imagining the Eternal City,” looks at the paradoxes of ancient and modern Rome’s place in the nineteenth century.
Fascinated by both the fantasies and realities of Rome, artists of the nineteenth century created a myriad of differing artistic compositions of the city. Some painters such as Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot depicted Rome in a rustic and threadbare fashion while others such as Jean-Léon Gérôme portrayed Rome in a hyper-dramatic and grandiose style. Join Loughman as he explores the artistic parallels to Italy’s political and social flux during the nineteenth century.
Technical innovations, artistic daring, and shifting socio-political circumstances led to a dramatic change in the photography of Rome in the late nineteenth century. Photographers of the Eternal City began to capture everyday scenes alongside ancient ruins, Baroque churches, and backstreets, all of which industrialization was rapidly transforming. Through the 100 images in Steps off the Beaten Path, viewers today can step into a Rome that was about to step out of the pre-industrial age. The exhibition is on view at the Clark through January 3, 2010.
The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm (open daily in July and August). Admission is free November through May. For more information, call 413-458-2303 or visit clarkart.edu.