Posted on 17 April 2023
Opening in February 2024 at the Musei di San Domenico in Forlì, near Bologna, is the exhibition Pre-Raphaelites: A Modern Renaissance. It will trace the profound impact of historical Italian art on the Pre-Raphaelite movement between the 1840s and 1920s by placing British works alongside their Italian prototypes. The art of Evelyn De Morgan and her uncle, John Roddam Spencer Stanhope, will form a crucial part of the exhibition’s narrative. The project will particularly intrigue English-speaking visitors by considering, for the first time, pieces by late 19th-century Italian artists inspired by their British forerunners. On view will be approximately 300 works of fine and decorative art borrowed from museums and private collections worldwide. The exhibition’s lead co-curators are Liz Prettejohn, Peter Trippi, and Francesco Parisi, and their fellow co-curators are Cristina Acidini, Tim Barringer, Stephen Calloway, Véronique Gerard-Powell, and Charlotte Gere.
On 21 April, for the first time publicly, Liz Prettejohn and Peter Trippi will offer an illustrated preview of this unique, one-venue-only project. Leading the conversation will be Sarah Hardy, Director of the De Morgan Museum.
Two artworks committed to the Forlì exhibition (Edward Burne-Jones’s Sidonia von Bork 1560, 1860, Tate, top; and Frank Cadogan Cowper’s Vanity, 1907, Royal Academy of Arts, below) were clearly influenced by Giulio Romano’s Portrait of Margherita Paleologo (c. 1531, Royal Collection, bottom), which will not be exhibited.
Liz Prettejohn, Professor of History of Art and Head of Department, History of Art, at the University of York (UK). Her recent research centres on relationships between the arts of past and present, explored in Modern Painters, Old Masters: The Art of Imitation from the Pre-Raphaelites to the First World War (2017). Her other books include The Art of the Pre-Raphaelites (2000), Beauty and Art 1750–2000 (2005), and The Modernity of Ancient Sculpture: Greek Sculpture and Modern Art from Winckelmann to Picasso (2012). She is an active guest curator and has co-curated exhibitions on Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and (with Peter Trippi) John William Waterhouse. Also with Trippi (and other colleagues), she co-curated the exhibition Lawrence Alma-Tadema: At Home in Antiquity (Leeuwarden, Vienna, and London, 2016–17), which brought to light the important work of women artists in the Alma-Tadema family circle.
Peter Trippi is Editor-in-Chief of Fine Art Connoisseur, the magazine that serves collectors of contemporary and historical realist art, and President of Projects in 19th-Century Art, a firm he established to pursue research, writing, and curating opportunities. He is also President of the Foundation for Advancement in Conservation, which supports and raises awareness of the American Institute for Conservation, the leading society of conservation and preservation professionals in the U.S. Based in New York City, Trippi directed the Dahesh Museum of Art and co-curated (with Prof. Liz Prettejohn) international touring exhibitions devoted to John William Waterhouse and Lawrence Alma-Tadema. His Waterhouse monograph was published by Phaidon Press in 2002, and he authored an essay in the catalogue accompanying the James Tissot exhibition that visited San Francisco and Paris in 2019–20. His last exhibition, Artful Stories: Paintings from Historic New England, was on view at the Eustis Estate in Milton, Massachusetts in 2020–21. He is now preparing two scholarly articles for the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow House in Cambridge, Massachusetts.