14 February 2023 / 28 May 2023

Despite Giacomo Ceruti's ascertained use of engravings as models for his paintings, adequate space has never been given to this fascinating, yet singular, Cerutian chapter. Defining the role occupied by prints in the creative workshop of the painter of the "pitocchi," as this exhibition does, is instead crucial to understanding how far the inseparable relationship between painting and reality went in Ceruti's production.

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The exhibition

Produced by: Municipality of Brescia, Fondazione Brescia Musei, Alleanza Cultura

Curated by: Francesco Ceretti e Roberta D’Adda

The exhibition aims to open a glimpse into the little-known workshop of Giacomo Ceruti. The exhibition therefore illustrates how the artist, throughout his career, drew more or less punctual suggestions from the infinite chalcographic repertoire, following a recurrent practice among genre painters, but always exercising it in an unprecedented and exclusive way, even revolutionary when compared to the seventeenth-century tradition or the pictorial work of his contemporaries. In order to understand the reasons why a “painter of reality” like Ceruti drew so frequently on preexisting figurative sources, the exhibition will feature engravings from inventions by Titian Vecellio, Paolo Caliari known as the Veronese, Pietro Testa and Nicolaes Pietersz. Berchem, whose d’après are mentioned in the post mortem inventory of the painter’s estate. The exhibition will also examine Ceruti’s borrowings from the engravings of Jacques Callot and Johann Heinrich Ross, exploited by the Milanese artist as models for buildings and macchiettes in scenes of popular life. In closing, a special focus will be reserved for engravings with religious, mythological and literary themes, namely the prints by Boucher, Lancret and Piazzetta, employed by Ceruti in the Calderara and Busseti commissioning cycles.