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arte italia and Nevada Museum of Art – Titian’s “La Bella” comes to Reno



Through its relationship with New York-based Foundation for Italian Art & Culture, arte italia announced today the unveiling of Titian’s La Bella: Woman in a Blue Dress (1536).  The Venetian-born painter’s exquisite portrait will be displayed in the E. L. Wiegand Gallery at the Nevada Museum of Art from September 24 through November 20, 2011.

Titian’s Venice, an expanded and complimentary exhibition detailing the mysterious identity of La Bella and the intricacies of her magnificent dress, can be viewed in arte italia’s Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci galleries located at 442 Flint Street.  In preparation to view the masterpiece at the Nevada Museum of Art, visitors will examine the unique setting, geography and history of 16th century Venice, in addition to Titian’s appetite for portraiture and the elaborate techniques he used to balance both beauty and sensuality, conveying a unique realism that makes La Bella come to life.

Upon experiencing arte italia’s educational exhibition, guests will receive a voucher to view Titian’s masterwork at the Nevada Museum of Art.

“We are delighted to welcome another priceless Renaissance treasure to Reno,” said Raymond C. Avansino, Jr., Chairman of the E. L. Wiegand Foundation and arte italia.  “With sincere gratitude to the Foundation for Italian Art & Culture, arte italia’s desire to bring world class Italian art to Nevada has again been realized, and we are confident the community will embrace Titian’s La Bella just as they did Raphael’s La Donna Velata.”

“The Museum is honored to have the opportunity to collaborate again with the E. L. Wiegand Foundation’s arte italia to bring a second Italian Renaissance masterpiece to Reno,” added David Walker, Executive Director / CEO Nevada Museum of Art.  “Titian’s La Bella is truly an iconic portrait of a beautiful woman in a magnificent dress.  Her two-month stay here in Reno will be made even more special because of the rich Italian heritage in the Northern Nevada area.  In 2010, the Museum and arte italia collaborated to present Raphael: The Woman with the Veil, and with La Bella, visitors can continue their exploration of Italian Renaissance masterpieces rarely seen outside of Italy.”

The most celebrated artist in Renaissance Venice, Titian is unsurpassed as a portrait painter and member of the 16th century Venetian School.  One of his most iconic artworks is the single masterpiece popularly known as La Bella – the beautiful woman.  The luminous painting is a classic portrait of a beautiful woman in a magnificent dress and luxurious accessories of the day.  La Bella’s blue gown is accented with gold embroidery with ruffles at the neckline and cuffs.  Gold, ruby, and pearl jewelry accents her elegant presentation.

The painting was first commissioned by Francesco Maria I della Rovere, Duke of Urbino, a mercenary military leader.  In 1536, the duke sent a letter to his agent in Venice inquiring about the progress of “that portrait of that woman in a blue dress,” whose completion he eagerly awaited.  The painting in question was doubtless La Bella, which is today in the collection of the Galleria Palatina in Florence.  The canvas has been cleaned recently, and the removal of discolored varnish has revealed the spendor of the woman’s blue dress and the luminosity of her flesh.

This exhibition is made possible by the Foundation for Italian Art & Culture.  The Nevada Museum of Art exhibition is sponsored exclusively by the E. L. Wiegand Foundation.

The exhibition tour was organized by the Kimball Art Museum in collaboration with the Nevada Museum of Art and the Portland Art Museum.

In addition to its presentation in Reno, the painting will tour to the Kimball Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas and the Portland Art Museum in Portland, Oregon before returning to the Pitti Palace in Florence, Italy.

Additional information is available at www.arteitaliausa.com and www.nevadaart.org

Founded in Reno, NV and operated by the E. L. Wiegand Foundation, arte italia promotes the exploration and conservation of Italian culture, including innovative exhibitions of classic Italian art and culinary programs featuring renowned Italian chefs.

The Nevada Museum of Art is a museum of ideas.  The only accredited art museum in the state, it is a private, non-profit organization supported by the generosity of its membership as well as by sponsorships and grants.  Through creative programming and scholarship, the Museum provides the opportunity for people to encounter, engage, and enjoy a diversity of art experiences.

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