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"Gentile Bellini and the East"
2005-12-13 until 2006-03-26
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
USA United States of America
An important Venetian artist, Gentile Bellini - the younger brother of the more famous Giovanni Bellini - and his role as a conveyer of cultures between Venice and the East during the Renaissance is explored for the first time at the Gardner Museum this winter in Gentile Bellini and the East. The international, traveling exhibition (also on view at the National Gallery, London, April 12-June 25, 2006) is inspired by the Gardner Museum's A Seated Scribe (1479-81) drawing, by Gentile Bellini and incorporates a contemporary work by Artist-in-Residence Juan Munoz as an example of role divergent cultures and historic objects can have on a contemporary artist working today.
The first-ever exhibition devoted to Gentile Bellini, Gentile Bellini and the East presents new findings about an important, little known period in Renaissance cultural history and Gentile's role as a painter in the court of the Ottoman sultan Mehmed II - and through it, as a conduit between Venice and the East. Bringing together paintings, drawings, medals, and decorative arts from museums in Kuwait, Hungary, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States, the exhibition also issues of cultural exchange across the Mediterranean. It will be on view at the Gardner Museum, December 14, 2005 - March 26, 2006; then travels to The National Gallery, London (April 12 - June 25, 2006).
On the work at the center of the exhibition, Gentile Bellini's A Seated Scribe, Munoz said in 1995: "I want to talk about a drawing of a young Turkish man who appears to be about to begin drawing... But then all those words and concepts that I write now in silence... will not help me to understand or to recreate that instant when I first walked into a room at the Gardner Museum and contemplated a small, delicate drawing of a young Turkish man by Gentile Bellini, and in my mind, for an instant, thought it perfect."
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