2022 / Portrait truths and treasons

On 7 April at 5.30 pm, Prof. Maria Grazia Messina will present a conference on 'Portraits and their function in the History of Art'. The event will be introduced by Prof. Claudia Corti and will take place in the context of the exhibition hosted Il Palmerino Cultural Association entitled 'Portrait dialogues' featuring the works of emerging artists: Samuel Bordley, Lydia Chapman and Emily Rogers.


The lecture is in Italian.


Professor Maria Grazia Messina was professor and director of the Department of History of Contemporary Art at the University of Florence and formerly worked at the University of Venice, Cà Foscari. She has worked on Figurative Culture between Neoclassicism and Romanticism with essays on Piranesi, Canova, the Nazarenes, the historical framework around the David, and landscape painting from Valenciennes to Constable. She has studied Modernist Architecture from the first decade of the 20th century, in Munich, Darmstadt and Vienna.


Professor Messina has also explored the ties between painting, criticism and literature, in the period between postimpressionism and the historical avant-guarde, with special attention to artists such as Monet, Gauguin, Cézanne and Cubism, on which she published the monograph, with J. Nigro Covre, Il cubismo dei cubisti, ortodossi ed eretici a Parigi intorno al 1912 (Rome 1986).


Among 20th-century Italian artists, she studied Carlo Carrà, Lucio Fontana and Mario Sironi; her work of the later is mentioned in the volume: Sironi. Ritratti di famiglia (Turin 1996). In the book, Le muse d'oltremare, Primitivismo ed esotismo nell'arte contemporanea, published by Einaudi in 1994, she considered the relationship of various artists, including Gauguin, Klimt, Matisse and Picasso, and the archaic and tribal arts. She revisited Gauguin's journey in Paul Gauguin. Un esotismo controverso, (Florence 2006).


Prof. Maria Grazia Messina has also curated numerous exhibitions, including one dedicated to Fiamma Vigo and the Galleria Numero in Florence in the 1950s-60s with R. Manno at the Florence State Archives.