National Gallery of Canada

National Gallery of Canada

May 25, 2005 15:04 ET

Leonardo and Michelangelo's Genius Inspires National Gallery's Renaissance Exhibition

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - May 25, 2005) - The National Gallery of Canada is celebrating one of the most innovative periods in the history of art with its exclusive new exhibition Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and the Renaissance in Florence, presented by Bell Canada from 29 May to 5 September 2005. The more than 120 works assembled for this special occasion showcase not just the genius of Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, but also the extraordinary impact they had on their contemporaries.

"Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and the Renaissance in Florence explores the influence of the two Florentine masters starting in 1500, when they both returned to the city after lengthy absences," says Dr. David Franklin, who is curator the exhibition as well as Deputy Director and Curator in Chief of the National Gallery of Canada. "Their creativity, notably da Vinci's subtle naturalism and dynamic, dramatic narrative style, and Michelangelo's representations of the male nude in powerful motion, inspired a generation of talented and intriguing artists such as Andrea del Sarto, Rosso Fiorentino, Piero di Cosimo, Jacopo da Pontormo and Agnolo Bronzino."

The exhibition concludes with the work of their rival Giorgio Vasari, whose Lives of the Artists - containing the first comprehensive biographies of artists ever written - was published in 1550. Vasari, along with artistic allies such as Francesco Salviati, promoted a more decorative and superficial style of painting that eventually marked the end of the Renaissance in Florence.

"Bell Canada is very proud to partner with the National Gallery in presenting this truly outstanding exhibition," says Michael Sabia, President and CEO, Bell Canada. "Bell has a long history of supporting the arts, which we believe breed creativity and foster new connections among people and ideas. For the past 125 years, Bell has connected Canadians and their communities. We are delighted to celebrate our 125th anniversary with the National Gallery of Canada."

Most of the paintings, drawings and sculptures in Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and the Renaissance in Florence have never before been seen in North America, let alone together in one place.

"Organizing an exhibition of this scale, with so many loans from prestigious institutions such as the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, the National Galleries in London and Washington, the Vatican Museums and Windsor Castle, is an extraordinary accomplishment," says Pierre Theberge, Director of the National Gallery of Canada. "Being the exclusive venue for Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and the Renaissance in Florence is a real coup for Ottawa and for Canada as a whole."

The Gallery will be closed on Saturday 28 May for the National Gallery of Canada Foundation's Renaissance Ball, a fundraiser that will bring together philanthropists and leaders from the arts, government and business communities across the country. Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and the Renaissance in Florence opens to the public on Sunday 29 May.


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