Museo Fortuny

Fortuny Museum



As part of the program “Winter at Palazzo Fortuny”
From December 8th 2012 to April 8th 2013

Fortuny and Wagner.
Wagnerism in the visual arts in Italy

This exhibition is the result of a long research on the iconographic and aesthetic influence of Richard Wagner and the ‘Wagnerism’ on the visual arts in Italy between the end of the 19th century and the early decades of the 20th, a theme that was never before the object of focused studies or exhibitions.

Wagnerism was a true cultural fashion that, in its diverse expressions (literary, musical, and painting) enjoyed widespread and profound diffusion. In the field of the visual arts it was one of the most typical manifestations of the aesthetic style at the turn of the eighteenth century, between late Naturalism, Symbolism and Art Nouveau. Mariano Fortuny was one of the leading protagonists in this field, and his entire Wagnerian cycle – comprising 47 paintings owned by the museum –, together with numerous engravings, will be displayed for the first time. His works, some of which were never exhibited before and many restored for the occasion, will be compared to those of other Italian artists (such as Lionello Balestrieri, Giuseppe Palanti, Cesare Viazzi, Eugenio Prati, Gaetano Previati, Alberto Martini, Adolfo Wildt) who were inspired by the characters and scenes in Wagner’s operas, whose bicentenary birth will be celebrated in 2013.

The exhibition will be enriched by a wide-ranging documentary section and by a series of focuses on illustration, caricature and poster design. To round off the exhibition and document the influence of Wagner’s work on contemporary artists, there will be an interesting selection of visual works by important artists such as Antoni Tapies, Bill Viola, and Anselm Kiefer.


Curated by: Paolo Bolpagni
Layout by: Daniela Ferretti