Comics And Classics Collide At Boston's Gardner Museum's Botticelli Exhibit
Art Business

Comics And Classics Collide At Boston’s Gardner Museum’s Botticelli Exhibit

Visible light detail of The Tragedy of Lucretia. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston Sandro Botticelli, courtesy of Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Visual storytelling styles separated by more than 500 years meet at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston this week with the opening of a new exhibit pairing the classical Italian artist Sandro Botticelli with contemporary graphic novelist Karl Stevens. The unique combination represents another step forward for comic art in traditional fine art museums and embodies the evolving perspective of museum curators facing generational change in the audience and patron base. The exhibit features Botticelli’s Story of Lucretia , part of the Gardner’s permanent collection and the first Botticelli masterpiece brought to America back in 1874, reunited with its companion piece Virginia , on loan from the Accademia Carrara in Bergamo, for the first time since the two were commissioned by the wealthy Vespucci family in the 15 th century. Both works are exemplary of a format of narrative art known as “spalliera” ("shoulder-level"), that painters like Botticelli used to connect familiar themes from classical literature to the politics and personalities of Renaissance Italy. Exhibit curator Nat Silver said he had the idea of accompanying Botticelli’s paintings […]

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