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Casanova: The Seduction of Europe
February 10, 2018 – May 28, 2018
Casanova: The Seduction of Europe explores 18th-century Europe through the eyes of one of its most colorful characters, Giacomo Casanova (Italian, 1725–1798). Renowned today as a seducer and an adventurer, Casanova was known to his contemporaries as a charming and witty conversationalist, an expert on many topics, and an international man of letters. He was also a gambler, a spy, and one of history’s greatest travelers.
Featuring approximately 90 works—including paintings by Canaletto, Pietro Longhi, William Hogarth, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, and François Boucher; sculptures by Jean-Antoine Houdon; works on paper by Giovanni Battista Piranesi; period furnishings, delicate porcelains, silver, and period costumes—Casanova will bring the famed author’s world to life. Of special note are three tableaux, illustrating, respectively, a visit to a convent in Venice, a morning toilette in Paris, and a dissipated night of cards in London—scenes composed of mannequins in 18th-century costumes amid period furniture. Thematic threads running through the exhibition include travel; courtship and seduction; theater and identity; and the pleasures of dining.
This exhibition is organized by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the Kimbell Art Museum, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Presenting Sponsor: John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn, Barbro and Bernard Osher, and Diane B. Wilsey. Lead Corporate Sponsor: Bank of America. Curator’s Circle: Barbara A. Wolfe.
The exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.
Additional support is provided by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.