Long wait over as Uffizi exhibition opens

Wang Jie
The much-anticipated exhibition "Uffizi: Self-Portrait Masterpieces" has been unveiled at Bund One Art Museum.
Wang Jie
SSI ļʱ
Long wait over as Uffizi exhibition opens

The gallery.

The much-anticipated exhibition "Uffizi: Self-Portrait Masterpieces" has been unveiled at Bund One Art Museum.

The exhibition is one of 10 from the Uffizi collection that will be shown in Shanghai over the next five years, thanks to a collaboration between the Uffizi Gallery and Shanghai Tix Media.

"This is the first and main presence of the Uffizi Gallery in Shanghai and China," said Eike Schmidt, director of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy, during an earlier interview with Shanghai Daily in February.

However, due to the lockdown in Shanghai, the exhibition was postponed.

But the long wait has been worth it.

"Uffizi: Self-Portrait Masterpieces" is comprised of 50 epic works of art from the 16th to the 21st century.

Works by 50 masters of art, headed by Raphael, Titian, Rubens, Rembrandt, Jacques-Louis David, Morandi, Chagall, Yayoi Kusama and Cai Guoqiang, are on display.

Long wait over as Uffizi exhibition opens

Raphael's self-portrait, oil on panel, 1504-1506

Raphael's self-portrait is one of his most famous and precious paintings.

Raphael (1483-1520) was one of the leading lights of the Italian art period known as the Renaissance.

Here the young artist is shown in a half-bust portrait, with shoulder-length chestnut hair covered by a cap, his dark eyes fixed on the viewer and an absorbed, melancholy expression on his face.

Rembrandt (1601-1669), another milestone figure in the art history, is best known as a painter of portraits for his decisive contrast of light and shade.

In this self-portrait, the artist painted not long before his death, he was in no mood to flatter himself. Only in the attentive eyes does the viewer recognize the proud figure of happier times. The expression in the set of his mouth seems to assure the viewer that the artist knew better than anyone that such a golden past was already behind him.

Apart from the classical and realistic portrait, the exhibition also includes some special self-portraits such as Marc Chagall.

Painted over a nine-year span, from 1959 to 1968, the self-portrait is both an homage to France and a celebration of life itself. The Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame and the Seine in the background are all clearly recognizable. The bride has been identified as Chagall's first wife, Bella, who died prematurely in the 1940s.

Another interesting self-portrait is by Yayoi Kusama.

With her hypnotic gaze and her features colored like a manga comic, the artist once again uses her most characteristic stylistic feature – polka dots – to construct her face and torso.

Exhibition info:

Dates: Through January 8, 10am-6pm

Tickets: 218 yuan

Venue: Bund One Art Museum

Address: 1 Zhongshan Rd E1

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