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Italian masterpieces on display at William King Museum of Art

Italian masterpieces on display at William King Museum of Art

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ABINGDON, Va. — Let’s take a trip to Italy.

The William King Museum of Art is now showcasing “Bernini and the Roman Baroque: Masterpieces from Palazzo Chigi in Ariccia.”

This is an exhibition that comprehensively maps the rich spectrum of genres and pictorial styles that characterize Baroque aesthetics and illuminates the influence of Gian Lorenzo Bernini across the Baroque movement.

“I think that this show is a nice introduction to the arts for people that want to learn more about the subject — and for those that have never visited,” said Anna Buchanan, the museum’s curator of contemporary fine art and crafts.

The luminous examples in this exhibition epitomize Baroque’s ultimate goal of elevating the viewer in mind and soul, communicating the moral and spiritual messages of the Catholic Church in its artistic heyday, said Alyssa Justice, the public relations manager for the museum.

“Bernini and the Roman Baroque” will be on view at William King Museum of Art through Jan. 16.

“This exhibit is spearheaded by our talented curator of fine and decorative art, Katie Edwards,” Buchanan said. “Katie worked with International Arts and Artists — or IA&A — to bring this show to our region. It’s because of her unwavering commitment to that art and to this region that this exhibit was made possible.”

This exhibition is made possible through the support of Rose Marie Burriss, with additional support by John and Joan Gregory, as well as Don and Ginia Shawl.

Take if from Justice: The term Baroque connotes an abundance of detail, a sense of irregularity and a sort of eccentric redundancy, all hallmarks of an extraordinary generation of artists who converged in Rome at the dawn of the 17th century.

This artistic style became a cultural phenomenon, spreading concurrently from Naples to Venice, Vienna to Prague, Justice said.

“I think that we are very fortunate to have this exhibit here in Abingdon. Bernini is a big name, from an art historical perspective, and we are so glad to be able to offer this free exhibit to the public,” said Buchanan.

“What I really enjoy about the show, as a whole, is that I think that there is something in there for everybody,” Buchanan said. “It hits on a theme of realism.”

Buchanan encourages the public to view the art while it’s on display.

“We’re fortunate to have it here at the museum, especially with the show coming all the way from Italy,” Buchanan said. “It’s a prominent historical example of how the fine arts came to be.”

jtennis@bristolnews.com | 276-791-0709 | @BHC_Tennis

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