From ukiyo-e to contemporary illustration:
the great graphical arts of Japan
The Japanese Graphics Exhibit, displaying ukiyo-e and contemporary illustrations from Japan, will be hosted by the halls of the Accademia Albertina di Belle Arti, in Torino, between January the 14th and February the 14th 2010.
L’Accademia Albertina di Belle Arti
If the attribute of “Albertina” recalls Carlo Alberto di Savoia, the man responsible for the re-foundation of the Academy in 1833, the origins of the institution are much older, and the Turin Academy can rightfully be considered one of the most ancient in Italy.
Already in the first half of the Sixth century was at work in Turin an “University of Painters, Sculptors and Architects” (“Università dei Pittori, Scultori e Architetti”), which was turned in 1652 into the “Compagnia di S. Luca”, only to acquire for the first time – but definitively – the title of Accademia in 1678, when Maria Giovanna di Savoia-Nemours, widow of Carlo Emanuele II, founded the Accademia dei Pittori, Scultori e Architetti, based on the model of the Parisian Académie Royale.
Following further reforms, under Vittorio Amedeo III (1778) and later “redesigns” during the Napoleonic domination, the year 1833 brings the true re-foundation of the institution, under Carlo Alberto: the “Regia Accademia Albertina” acquires a new seat in the building in which it still resides today; the Accademia is further expanded by the addition of the Pinacoteca, in which the collections of marquis Monsignor Mossi di Morano and the precious Gaudentian boards of the Savoy family are collected.
Between the end of the 19th century and teh beginning of the 20th, the Accademia nurtures the passage from realism to the new art, towards eclecticism, Liberty and a renewal in themes, with landscape and genre painting well represented by artists such as Antonio Fontanesi, Giacomo Grosso, Cesare Ferro, and with the sculpted work of Vincenzo Vela, Odoardo Tabacchi and Edoardo Rubino.
The Accademia Albertina consumes its last turn starting in the early Forties, with the contribution of some significant members of the Turin figurative scene, updating their models along the lines traced by French and Middle-European avant-garde: Casorati, Paulucci and later Menzio in painting, Cherchi for sculpture, Calandri for litography, Kaneclin for scenography, excellently supported by assistants such as Galvano, Scroppo, Davico, documenting the developments of the arts in the post-war years.
In recent times, the Accademia Albertina has gone through a further transformation and renovation, promoting a number of didactic and cultural initiatives. The Pinacoteca has been reorganized and re-opened to the public, the internal layout of the building has been updated and the building itself restored, an intense activity has started, with public exhibitions, lectures, seminars and happenings, while informatics has massively entered the Academy curricula, and a new experimental course in Restoration and Preservation was launced in 1997-98.