The first exhibition exploring the artistic exchange between Rome and Mexico during the central years of the century of the independence. The exhibition is curated by Professor Giovanna Capitelli, University of Calabria, and Professor Stefano Cracolici, Director of the Zurbarán Centre for Spanish and Latin American Art at Durham University.
The exhibition is the result of a collaborative effort involving colleagues from Durham, Rome and Mexico City, who conducted their investigation in Mexico, Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Hungary and the United States of America. The show explores in-depth the artistic relations between the Academia de San Carlos in Mexico City and the Accademia di San Luca in Rome. During the central years of the century of the Independence, Mexican painters, sculptors and architects studied in Mexico and Rome conforming their styles and techniques to the 'purist' model then dominant in the Universal Capital of the Arts. Ambassadors of this model were two Catalan artists, painter Pelegrín Clavé and sculptor Manuel Vilar, who in 1846 moved to Mexico to teach at the Academy of San Carlos.
The narrative subtending the exhibition oscillates between two distant poles - the cosmopolitan milieu of 19th-century Rome and the political regime of the new capital of Mexico during the turbulent years of its independence. Special focus is placed on the mobility of artists and artworks, the emergence of a new international art market in Mexico, the diplomatic exchanges between Europe and the New World. Walking through the eight sections of the exhibition (The Factory of Prestige; Travelling Artworks; Dramatis personae; Antique Virtues; The School of Landscape; The internationale of Sacred Art The Spectacle of History), visitors will discover a surprising story of genuine friendships, intense relations and transatlantic exchanges between artists from Mexico and artists from Spain, Britain, Italy, France, Germany and Hungary.
The exhibition is organised under the aegis of Durham University's Zurbarán Centre for Spanish and Latin American Art (ZC) with the generous support of the Global Challenge Research Fund, the Museo Nacional de San Carlos, the Mexican Secretariat of Culture (Secretaría de Cultura), the Mexican Institute of Fine Arts (Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes), the Italian Cultural Institute in Mexico City (Istituto Italiano di Cultura) and the Academy of Saint Luke in Rome (Accademia di San Luca). Published by one of the most distinguished art publishers in Rome (Campisano Editore), the catalogue features about 300 illustrations all in colour as well as essays and extended entries by 11 authors from the UK, Mexico, Italy, Switzerland and Hungary.