4 Mar 2017 – 21 May 2017

Visions from the North. Estonian painting from the Enn Kunila Collection, 1910 – 1940

Curated by

Eero Epner

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Where and when


4March 2017


21May 2017

Museo Novecento

VISIONS FROM THE NORTH. Estonian painting from the Enn Kunila collection, 1910 – 1940: for the first time in Florence the works of the Kunila Collection, one of the largest private collections of modern painting in northeastern Europe. The city is preparing to discover the secrets of the Baltic painting tradition with a selection of early twentieth century artists still little known to the Italian public.

Curated by the art historian Eero Epner, the exhibition presents paintings that trace the origins and developments of modernity in Estonia, recounting atmospheres, colors and landscapes by artists such as Ants Laikmaa, Elmnar Kits, Villem Ormisson, Endel Koks, Nikolai Triik and Herbert Lukk.

Characterized by intense chromatic experimentation, the works testify on the one hand the close bond of these artists with nature, the landscape and their native lands, on the other hand the desire to participate in the cultural life of European capitals, revealing the influence of international, Fauvian and post-impressionist artistic currents. Moved by the desire to overcome the realist pictorial tradition, many artists spent long periods in contact with European art, which they reinterpreted personally, laying the foundations for the birth of modern painting in the country.

The exhibition pays particular attention to Konrad Mägi (1878-1925), considered the first painter of Estonian modernity. Often associated with Neo-Impressionism, Expressionism and Fauvism, over the course of his career Mägi has outlined a very peculiar style and vocabulary. Among the subjects of his landscapes there are also views of Italian cities which exerted a strong attraction on many authors of the period.

A program of films, guided tours and conferences will accompany the three-month exhibition: a unique opportunity to delve into twentieth-century European culture with a look towards the North.
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