Over the years, the Chianciano Biennale has always been considered by art critics, art historians and curators as an outstanding event and the most prestigious biennale in Italy. Following the great success attained, this year the museum has decided to present a historic event spanning over the entire town of Chianciano. A unique and new experience that encompasses all form of creativity and unites contemporary art to other expressive arts.
The Art Museum will, as usual, present over one hundred artists rigorously selected, to represent the five continents: Europe, America, Asia, Africa and Oceania. Their different artistic expressions will bring the forefront of the contemporary art world to Chianciano. The artistic, cultural and intellectual genius gathered within the confines of the Chianciano Museum will be a universal banner of art; an array of wordless interpretation and communication that lives and breathes through the talent and creativity of the great artists themselves who share their views of the world that surrounds us.
Art knows no limits, neither geographical nor cultural albeit one is ever curious to compare and contrast the art born within the Amazonian tropics with that conceived within a metropolis such as New York or Stockholm. The influence of nature and man endlessly pivotal regardless of whether the artist’s eye explores the landscape or the mind’s eye explores the subconscious.
Contemporary art is the elegant queen of the Chianciano Biennale. The unhindered artistic expression of art is the unchallenged protagonist in the visual journey represented by this exhibition. The viewer meanders freely over the reflections of what artists see, elaborate, analyse and express through the process of creating art.
In light of this celebration of contemporary art, the museum has created an array of events that embrace the world of art in general. The Museo della Collegiata, which hosts exceptional examples of sacred art from the 13th to the 21st century, will exhibit the magnificent portrait of Saint Pius V by Palma il Giovane (1544-1628). This Renaissance master, heir to Tintoretto, apprentice to Raffaello and painter who finished Titian’s “Pietà” in 1575, was commissioned to create the portrait of Pope Pius V by the Bellanti Counts, an influential family who gave four “Capitani del Popolo” to Siena in the Middle Ages. It is an artwork of great importance that, after three centuries in Tuscany, was bought by Sir Robert Dick in 1842. Another two hundred years later, thanks to the Chianciano Art Museum that acquired the portrait from Bonham’s in London, one of the most ancient auction houses in the world founded in 1793, it returns to Chianciano, only a few kilometres from Siena.
In the same collection, the unique icon that Pope Pius XII gave to Princess Margaret will also be on show. A work of great historic and religious significance, created by the world famous Italian jeweller Mario Buccellati in 1948 expressly for the Princess on her visit to the Vatican City marking the first visit in hundreds of years by a British Royal.
The Biennale is an artistic as well as historical event that offers collectors, tourists and art lovers a wonderful experience ranging from art history to the avant-guard.
At Palazzo de Vegni, built between the 18th and 19th centuries, there will be an exhibition of engravings and etchings by the great masters Dürer, Piranesi and Rembrandt. Numerous of these artworks have been acquired from the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Cincinnati Art Museum and the private collection of Count Antoine Seilern, the world’s most important collector of Dürer’s works.
Villa Simoneschi, built in 1830 and subsequently bought by patron Ottavio Simoneschi, was used to house important collection of paintings, furniture, archaeological findings, books and coins. Today, this magnificent building is part of the town's heritage and is used by the Municipality of Chianciano Terme as an important venue for meetings, concerts and events. During the Biennale, the Villa will host drawings made by the great Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani in the 80s and 90s, beside some of his most important creations. Armani’s drawing have previously been seen in the Guggenheim Museum in New York and will offer yet another dimension to the international art on show.
Medieval churches will host important lithographs by Toulouse Lautrec, commissioned by the Toulouse Lautrec Society and the ‘The Times’ of London, while the Etruscan Museum will present some of the most important findings, burial chambers and remnants of this magnificent pre-Roman population, taking visitors to the Italian cultural roots, uncovering the journey and discovering the importance and imprint that they left on the history of Italian art.
The Chianciano Biennale, thanks to the support of the Municipality in granting these magnificent exhibition spaces and museums, will be an exceptional and stimulating event in which contemporary art is the centrepiece albeit in a historical context that embraces works of art that span thousands of years.
In occasion of the Biennale, the Bonaventura Institute of Music will organise numerous unmissable concerts at the Terme di Sant’Elena, the Terme dell’Acquasanta and at the Art Museum, blending visual art and music together. Visitors will embark on a stimulating emotional experience in the very heart of Tuscany, cradle of Italian Renaissance.