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Press release


November 21, 2000 – March 4, 2001
Robert Lehman Wing, main floor

Evaristo Baschenis (Bergamo, 1617-1677), the preeminent still life painter of 17th-century Italy, is best known for his hauntingly poetic paintings of musical instruments. Although unfamiliar to American audiences, these lyrical masterpieces of composition and color harmony have been compared to Chardin's paintings, especially for their geometric structure and careful simplicity. Approximately 15 paintings from public and private collections throughout northern Italy will be featured in The Still Lifes of Evaristo Baschenis and the Music of Silence, on view at the Metropolitan Museum November 21, 2000 through March 4, 2001. Several works, which have never before left Bergamo, will be loaned from the descendents of the families that commissioned the paintings more than three centuries ago.

Among the highlights of the exhibition will be Baschenis's masterpiece, a large-scale triptych done for the Agliardi family of Bergamo, which includes a self-portrait of the artist and portraits of the family members playing instruments. Also to be included in the exhibition are books on perspective and examples of period musical instruments from the Metropolitan's own collections.

The exhibition is made possible by Banca Popolare di Bergamo.

The exhibition is organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, with the Accademia Carrara, Bergamo, and the Superintendency of Milan.

It will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue, to be published by Edizione Olivares.

At the Metropolitan, the exhibition will be organized by Andrea Bayer, Assistant Curator, Department of European Paintings, with Laurence B. Kanter, Curator in Charge, Robert Lehman Collection, and Stewart S. Pollens, Associate Conservator, Department of Musical Instruments.

In conjunction with the exhibition, a special concert will be held on December 17 featuring Paul Odet playing a period lute from the Metropolitan's collection. In addition, a variety of other educational events will be offered, including lectures, gallery talks, and programs for teachers.


May 8, 2000

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