The primordial idea of artistic creation, according to one part of art history, is drawing: a first insight into the artistic concept (Kunstwollen, we would say today) that the artist initially elaborates in his mind, before translating the idea into a work of art.
This is the premise with which we admire the beautiful drawings by Giambattista Tiepolo on exhibit at Museo Horne for the exhibition Tiepolo. Disegni dall’Album Horne. (Drawings from the Horne Album).
The story of this album is interesting. It was bought with great insight (in London, in 1903, for only 21 Pounds!) by noted art historian and collector Herbert Horne, who jealously guarded it in his house-museum in Via de' Benci. Of the four Albums of Tiepolo's drawings that exist in the world, this is the only one that is preserved in Italy.
On the occasion of the restoration of the precious volume by the Opificio delle Pietre Dure, this exhibition was made possible and the public can admire a selection of 48 drawings close up. “Sheets of paper made of nothing, pen, aquatint... figures that appear as clouds against the sun” (Antonio Paolucci), images like flashes, fleeting and flimsy dreamlike visions in rarefied atmospheres... This is how the very modern style of these drawings could be defined, with their sure and extemporaneous lines. These are often first insights that in many cases were then developed into the great cycles of paintings that we know.
Among the greatest painters of the Italian and European eighteenth century, Giambattista Tiepolo (Venice 1696 - Madrid 1770), was particularly distinguished for his monumental and spectacular decorative cycles in noble palaces and villas of Venice (and of the whole of Veneto), but also Milan, Würzburg and Madrid. His light figures are unforgettable, often cleverly foreshortened “di sottinsù - from below to above” silhouetted against infinite airy spaces... the same ones that we find many times in an embryonic state, in the drawings on display as well.
The visit to the exhibition is an opportunity to admire that big-little museum that is the Museo Horne. Inside the ancient Palazzo Corsi of Florence, in the very central Via de' Benci (a stone's throw from Santa Croce) the house-museum was created by Herbert Horne, English architect and art historian in the nineteenth and twentieth century. In a series of rooms that recreate the atmosphere of a Renaissance dwelling, visitors can admire his prestigious collection (over 6 thousand works) which includes masterpieces of painting and sculpture (Giotto, Simone Martini, Masaccio, Filippino Lippi, Domenico Beccafumi, Giambologna), but also precious furnishings, characteristic of everyday objects and the furniture of the time. The Museum can be visited with the same ticket as the entrance ticket to the exhibition.