Despite being the century in which Italy won its freedom and its national independence, in other words the era of the Risorgimento or national reawakening, the 19th century has always seemed to coincide with Italy's loss of its former leading role, after the country's culture and civilisation had dominated the world for centuries. While opera, with Rossini, Donizetti, Bellini, Verdi and Puccini, was universally appreciated (and has remained so), only the sculptor Canova in the early part of the century and the painters Boldini and Segantini in the latter part have enjoyed anything like genuine international recognition.
The aim of this exhibition is to show how, in Rome and Milan, in Florence and Naples, a handful of excellent painters struggled, in an extremely tough historical environment, to realise works of art in keeping with the best Italian tradition---increasingly out of their reach.
Appiani, Palagi, Hayez and the members of the Romantic School in Milan, Macchiaioli such as Fattori, Lega and Signorini in Florence, "veduta" painters from the Posillipo school and Morelli in Naples are among the artists whose works are on view.
Scuderie Del Quirinale Web Site