press release

The exhibition “The colour of shadow” is part of the series of events aimed at celebrating the centenary of the opening of the Gallery of Modern Art in Florence, and is closely connected with “Spotlights on the Twentieth Century”, the major show of painting and sculpture which opened on 28 October last, showcasing the historic acquisitions of the Gallery.

It was indeed in the spring of 1914 that a very important international exhibition devoted entirely to graphics opened in Florence.

It was an event of great cultural significance for the city, organised by the Società delle Belle Arti, and, with the assistance of funds provided by the King, the State and the City Council, both the Gallery of Modern Art and the Prints and Drawings Department of the Uffizi took the opportunity to purchase a conspicuous number of variously selected works. The selections made by the Gallery of Modern Art hinged largely on Italian artists, from the great masters of the recent past such as Antonio Fontanesi and Gaetano Previati, through to one of the leading exponents of contemporary woodcuts, Adolfo De Carolis and the young artists from the Florentine School of Engraving, set up two years earlier to take up the baton of Giovanni Fattori. The Uffizi instead opted for foreign artists, including illustrious figures from the world of graphics and contemporary art such as Théophile Steinlen, Eugène Carrière and Käthe Kollwitz.

The selection that is presented here (about one hundred works from the extensive collections acquired by the galleries), is divided into nine sections addressing portraits, landscapes, oneiric images derived from international Symbolism, the world of women, the large urban cathedrals and the work of work. The idea is to evoke an atmosphere, to enable observers to perceive the “colour” of a means of expression that is by definition “black & white”, but is actually extraordinarily varied and rich in nuance.