23 May – 10 July 2018
Venice, Ca’ Rezzonico – Venice Eighteen Century Museum
During the first half of the eighteenth century, Venice was not only home to artist Rosalba Carriera, but also to another prominent painter, unfortunately completely ignored outside her homeland: Giulia Lama, whose father Agostino was also a painter, as well as an art dealer and art expert. Unlike her female artist contemporaries who were engaged in producing “feminine” genres such as portraiture or miniatures, Giulia focused on historical painting, creating large, densely filled compositions.
Far from the purely decorative or warmly sensual, Giulia Lama’s art is characterised by images of a powerful three-dimensional quality and expressive force, violent in its brushstrokes and use of colour, and close in character to Giambattista Piazzetta’s work in Venice in the same period.
Indeed Piazzetta has left us with an extraordinary portrait of Giulia Lama, who seems not to have been beautiful, but to have had a strong if melancholy temperament. The Correr Museum Cabinet of Drawings and Prints contains a splendid selection of Lama’s graphic works, all of them nude life drawings: certainly an unconventional practice for a woman of that time, yet one which fully reveals to us her independent, nonconformist personality.
A number of these works have been restored for this occasion and are on show for the first time.
Curated by Alberto Craievich