An intense friendship, an artistic partnership that also led to the sharing of contacts and suggestions: this is the fil rouge of Bartolini and his friend Ingres exhibition, hosted at the Museum of Palazzo Pretorio in Prato from 14 July to 17 October as part of the project Uffizi Diffusi.
The protagonist of the exhibition, the Self-portrait of Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, is considered one of the greatest exponents of French painting of the first half of the nineteenth century. It's on a temporary loan from the Uffizi Galleries for the initiative and in this context it's placed in dialogue with Bartolini's sculptures.
Lorenzo Bartolini and Ingres met in Paris, in their youth, weaving a friendship that would tie them in the years to come. A bond that left concrete testimony in the creation of the portrait of Countess Marina Dmitrievna Gur'eva, wife of the Minister of Finance of Tsar Alexander I. Bartolini's autographed marble work is kept in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, but in the Museum of Palazzo Pretorio exhibits his preparatory plaster, an external deposit of the Uffizi, which has just recently been restored. 'Bartolini made and dedicated to his friend Ingres', we read on the rock where the countess is seated.
And here is also revealed the reason for the title of the exhibition: Bartolini introduced Ingres to the two Russian spouses and so the painter created the portrait of Count Gur'ev, also today at the Hermitage.
The self-portrait of Ingres degli Uffizi is visible on the third floor of the museum, where the collection of works by Lorenzo Bartolini formed over time is preserved thanks to the contribution, in terms of long-term deposits of works, of the Florentine state museums. The creations of the sculptor from Prato therefore converse with the paintings of the nineteenth century: on display there is also the Portrait of Lorenzo Bartolini that Franz Adolf von Stürler painted in 1845, copying it from the one that Ingres himself had painted for his friend in 1820.
The visit to the Bartolini and his friend Ingres exhibition will be accompanied by the Overture of Rossini's Journey to Reims, performed by the instrumental Camerata Città di Prato, directed by Jonathan Webb. The sound reinforcement of the exhibition was done in collaboration with the Palazzo della Musica.