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Exhibit: Casanova – The Seduction of Europe


Where:  Kimbell Art Museum
3333 Camp Bowie Blvd.
Fort Worth, TX 76107
When:  Aug 27 - Dec 31
10am–5pm Tue–Thu and Sat; 12–8pm Fri; 12–5pm Sun.
Price:  $16 adults; $12 kids 6–11. Admission is half-price all day each Tue and after 5pm on Fri.
Phone:  817/332-8451
Web:  kimbellart.org
Map:  Click for map
In the Louis Kahn Building, the Kimbell will premiere the international loan exhibition Casanova: The Seduction of Europe, a free-spirited exploration of mid-18th-century Europe. The celebrated Giacomo Casanova (1725--1798), who epitomizes the sophistication of the 18th century, will act as our guide.

His famous memoirs portray an individual perfectly suited to his era: one of glamour, creativity, sensual pleasure, and social and political ambition. Inspired by Casanova's story, the exhibition will introduce 21st-century viewers to the variety and complexity of European art and culture that form the backdrop of his life.

Casanova emerges as daringly modern in his freewheeling approach to life and his apparently limitless capacity for self-invention. Although his name is now synonymous with the archetypical seducer and adventurer, he was in fact much more than that: contemporaries regarded him as a charming and witty conversationalist, an expert on many fascinating topics and an international man of letters.

Casanova lived in or visited many of the principal art centers of 18th-century Europe, particularly Venice, Paris and London, but also the capitals of Central and Eastern Europe. Moreover, he knew many of the greatest figures of the age: the philosophers Voltaire and Rousseau; the celebrated opera singer Farinelli; Benjamin Franklin, American ambassador to France; two Popes; and such monarchs as Louis XV of France, George III of Great Britain and Catherine the Great of Russia.

This exhibition will feature approximately 200 works of art, including paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints, furniture, metalwork, porcelain, costumes and musical instruments. Together, they will illustrate the splendor of mid-18th-century Europe, gently structured around the chronology, geography and major incidents of Casanova's life, and will address such themes as travel; courtship and seduction; theatre, identity and the mask; and the pleasures of dining.

Casanova's colorful life experiences will be evoked by the work of the great Italian artists Canaletto, Bellotto, Tiepolo, Longhi and Piranesi; by the French masters Boucher, Nattier, Houdon and Fragonard; and by such British painters as Hogarth and Reynolds. Evocative vignettes of costumed figures in settings enlivened by extraordinary period furnishings will bring to life the sumptuous world in which Casanova lived----a world that he seduced not only with charm and romance but through his keen wit and his rare intelligence.

Image: Jean-Marc Nattier, Manon Balletti, © The National Gallery, London. Bequeathed by Emilie Yznaga, 1945
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