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Giuseppe De Nittis “Great Catalog on the Donation of Leontine” – Conference

DeNittis Miracco

The Institute is pleased to host Renato Miracco, art historian, critic and curator, former director of the IIC-NY, presenting the volume: Giuseppe DeNittisGreat Catalog on the Donation of Leontine-Cangemi Editore, in conversation with Professor Robert Jensen and Professor Emeritus Michael Marrinan.

Although largely forgotten, Giuseppe De Nittis  (1846 – 1884) was a major personality in the history of modernism and nineteenth-century European art, a point of reference for a generation of European painters, and an innovator who drew inspiration from many facets of the artistic culture of his time. When he died aged thirty-eight, he was at the height of his critical success. Leontine Gruvelle De Nittis, widow of the Painter,left in her will, all her paintings to the City of Barletta in 1913.

“The complete De Nittis Collection arrived in Barletta (Puglia, Italy) and from 1914 until 2005 was hosted in various temporary locations, but in 2006 it finally found a final and appropriate placement in the restored Palazzo della Marra where you can admire it today. This great and important donation, so audacious in the Italian panorama of the time, consists of 139 paintings, 54 graphic works and 154 books with dedications that document the various phases in the artistic production of the Barletta painter, his talent for experimentation, as well as his friendship and shared research with some of the most important artists of the second half of the 19th century in Europe such as Edgar Degas, Edmond Manet, Gustave Caillebotte, James Tissot, just to name a few. A desire to re-read him and reconsider the links between him and his French colleagues in or close to the impressionist group came to my mind when we decided to write a General Catalogue of the Donation. Rereading is never a lonely path: I needed travel companions, scholars, including international ones, who have recently dealt with De Nittis, such as Francesca Dini, Marina Ferretti Bocquillon Martina Fusari, Robert Jansen, Anne F. Maheux, Michael Marrinan, Manuela Moscatiello, Fausto Minervini, Gabriele Romani. I thank them for their availability, creative intelligence, and serious discussions we had regarding De Nittis. Their essays are now part of the Great Catalog on the Donation of Leontine created for the De Nittis Pinacoteca.” Renato Miracco


Renato Miracco, art historian, critic and curator, was Director of the Italian Cultural Institute in New York, cultural attaché of the Italian Embassy in the United States and guarantor of the Italian Academy at Columbia University. Among the exhibitions he has curated over the years: the anthological exhibition on Giorgio Morandi at the Metropolitan Museum of New York, the exhibition on Burri, Fontana and Manzoni at the Tate Modern in London, the anthological exhibition on Giacomo Balla at the Pinacoteca de Estado of San Paolo (Brazil) and a retrospective on Italian art from the 50s and 60s at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington DC. He is currently Guest Curator at the Phillips Collection in Washington DC, where he recently curated a monographic exhibition on Giuseppe De Nittis.

Robert Jensen recently retired as professor of art history and Director of the School of Art and Visual Studies at the University of Kentucky.  He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, with a dissertation on Edouard Manet’s early market in Germany.  He is perhaps best known for his book Marketing Modernism in Fin-de-Siècle Europe (Princeton, 1994).  Since then, he has published on a wide variety of topics, many centered on art market studies. Among his most recent essays are “The Rise and Fall and Rise Again of the Contemporary Art Market,” Journal of Cultural Economics (2022), a quantitative study of the market for contemporary art in Europe and America during the fifty years that frame 1900 and “The Market for Classic French Modern Art Prior to 1940” to appear this fall in the Colnaghi Studies Journal.  He is currently working on a variety of new projects, including essays on “Why Old Master Paintings Became So Expensive” and “The Curious Case of Camile Corot,” and a book Slouching Toward Bohemia. Professionalism and Artists in the late 19th Century.

Michael Marrinan is Professor Emeritus at Stanford University, where he taught the history of 18th and 19th century art and architecture for 28 years. Prior to moving to California, he taught the same material from 1980 to 1989 at Columbia University in New York City. Michael wrote his PhD with Robert Rosenblum at the NYU Institute of Fine Arts on the painting of history in France during the reign of Louis-Philippe, which became Painting Politics for Louis-Philippe, his first book published in 1988 by Yale University Press. In addition to numerous articles, his other published books include Romantic Paris: Histories of a Cultural Landscape, 1800-1850 (Stanford, 2009), Gustave Caillebotte: Painting the Paris of Naturalism (Getty Research Institute, 2016) and, coauthored with John Bender, The Culture of Diagram (Stanford, 2010). He has co-edited two volumes of essays: Mapping Benjamin, The Work of Art in the Digital Age (Stanford, 2003) and Regimes of Description: In the Archive of the Eighteenth Century (Stanford, 2005). Michael was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in 1989 and was a Senior Fellow at the Getty Research Institute in 2011. He is presently writing a monograph called Inventing Impressionism on the early years of Claude Monet (1865-1874).


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  • Organized by: IIC-NY