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“When in Rome” Lecture Explores the Foreign Academies

For Immediate Release

November 02, 2009

Discover the many ways foreign artists depicted the Eternal City during the next “When in Rome” lecture on Thursday, November 12, at 5:30 pm, at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. The lecture series, led by Clark staff, is a complement to the fall exhibition Steps off the Beaten Path: Nineteenth-Century Photographs of Rome and Its Environs. Registration is not required but can be made by calling 413-458-0489. Cost is $8 per class ($5 for members and free of charge for college students).

Rome has remained a center of the European art world for many centuries. Celebrated for its great monuments, works of art, and incomparable scenery, the Eternal City was an essential component of an artist’s education, as well as for the worldly “grand tourist.” In this lecture, Clark senior curator Richard Rand explores the myriad ways foreign artists responded to Rome by discussing three great paintings from the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries: Portrait of Juan de Pareja (1650, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York) by the Spanish painter Diego Velazquez; The Oath of the Horatii (1784/85, Musée du Louvre, Paris) by the French painter Jacques-Louis David; and Rome from the Vatican (1820, Tate, London) by J.M.W. Turner.

Technical innovations, artistic daring, and shifting socio-political circumstances led to a dramatic change in the photography of Rome in the late nineteenth century. Photographers of the Eternal City began to capture everyday scenes alongside ancient ruins, Baroque churches, and backstreets, all of which industrialization was rapidly transforming. Through the 100 images in Steps off the Beaten Path, viewers today can step into a Rome that was about to step out of the pre-industrial age. The exhibition is on view at the Clark through January 3, 2010.

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm (open daily in July and August). Admission is free November through May. Admission June 1 through October 31 is $12.50 for adults, free for children 18 and younger, members, and students with valid ID. For more information, call 413-458-2303 or visit clarkart.edu.

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