Through 8 July, the Venetian Institute of Science, Letters, and Art
at Palazzo Cavalli Franchetti in Venice hosts Picasso and Vollard. The genius and the merchant, an exhibition designed and organized by Gamm Giunti in collaboration with the Institute and curated by Claudia Beltramo Ceppi.
For the first time in Venice, the relationship between Pablo Picasso and Ambrose Vollard, the pioneering art merchant who worked between the end of the 19th century and the first decades of the 20th, is investigated through 150 works. Intuition and boldness allowed Vollard to become highly influential, as did his keen eye for misunderstood and little-known artists; the merchant is famous for having organized the first-ever monographic exhibition on Paul Cézanne in his gallery in November 1895, along with exhibitions on Les Nabis. Vollard earned his place in history thanks to his defence of artists such as Derain and Rouault, but most of all thanks to his fateful encounter with a very young Catalan artist by the name of Pablo Picasso way back in 1901, when the latter was trying to make a name for himself in the cutthroat art world.
This was the start of a complex, deeply-involved relationship that lasted almost forty years, until Vollards death in 1939. The merchant, who was the first to offer the Catalan painter the opportunity to stage an exhibition in his gallery, is known for having bought and sold Picassos paintings to the likes of Schukin, Morozov, Gertrude and Leo Stein, Barnes, Thannhauser, and Stieglitz.
The exhibition celebrates his multi-faceted personality with the Harlequin series featuring the renowned etching The Frugal Repast, his illustrations for Balzacs Chef doeuvre inconnuand Buffons LHistorie naturelle, andthe extensive and extraordinary Vollard Suite, which Picasso worked on from 1927 to 1937, which remained overlooked for quite some time due to Vollards death and the onset of World War II.