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Exhibition in Venice delves into the relationship between Picasso and Ambrose Vollard
A visitor walks in the ‘Picasso and Vollard – the genius and the merchant’ exhibition at Palazzo Franchetti in Venice. The exhibition, showing more than 150 Picasso works and running until July 8, 2012 retraces the emblematic relationship between Picasso and his first art patron Ambroise Vollard. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS.
VENICE.- 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 Vollard’s 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 Picasso’s 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 Balzac’s Chef d’oeuvre inconnuand Buffon’s L’Historie naturelle, andthe extensive and extraordinary Vollard Suite, which Picasso worked on from 1927 to 1937, which remained overlooked for quite some time due to Vollard’s death and the onset of World War II.





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