Saturday, March 7, 2020 the museum of Villa Bernasconi will reopen to the public, with an artistic setting: “Fiori narrati. Illustratori dell’Art Nouveau in dialogo con Villa Bernasconi” in collaboration with the Foundation Arte Nova.
Until September 20, 2020 the visit will be gradually enriched with works by some of the most famous painters and illustrators of Art Nouveau including Alphonse Mucha (1860-1939), Elisabeth Sonrel (1874-1953) and Edgard Maxence (1871-1954), in an exhibition curated by Elena Franco.
Monday to Friday 14:00 – 18:00 | Saturday and Sunday 10:00 – 18:00
Admission included in the museum ticket.
Quota-based access will be ensured as stated in the Ministerial Decree of 1 March 2020.
Fiori narrati. Illustratori dell’Art Nouveau in dialogo con Villa Bernasconi
Among the works on display is the large and rare lithograph on canvas by Alphonse Mucha (1860-1939) entitled “Les fleurs”, created for Home Decor in 1894 and from the collection of the Fondazione Arte Nova. A work created by Mucha at the beginning of his career as an illustrator, with a style still far removed from the posters that made him famous. Three lithographs on paper, from a series of four, from 1898, also by Mucha, depicting women with flowers: the carnation, the iris and the rose, are in dialogue with this work.
By Paul Berthon (1872-1909), a French painter and illustrator, there is a lithograph on paper entitled “Les bulles de neiges”, from the early 20th century. Influenced by Eugène Grasset’s style, his production is characterised by its own recognisability, marked by pastel colours and clear contours.
Four lithographs on paper from 1901 by Elisabeth Sonrel (1874-1953) depicting water, field, mountain and greenhouse flowers complete the itinerary. A successful painter and illustrator, Sonrel regularly exhibited at the Parisian Salons from 1893 until 1941. One can read in a certain part of her production, probably as a result of her travels in Italy towards the end of the nineteenth century, besides her adherence to the Art Nouveau style, also a reference to the Pre-Raphaelite movement. Very often his works were inspired by tales and legends, often Breton, while more rarely his works were dedicated to flowers, as in the case of the works on display.
Also in the collection of the Arte Nova Foundation belongs a wonderful walnut briarwood inlaid lectern from the 1920s, with a stylised neoclassical figure of a woman, on display next to the piano.
Finally, by the cabinetmaker Eugenio Quarti (1867 – 1926) there is the mahogany wood sitting room presented at the foot of the staircase of Villa Bernasconi, where the elegant lines of the high backrests of the chairs seem to dialogue with the irons of the railing by Alessandro Mazzucotelli (1865 – 1938). The two were lifelong friends, travelled together in Europe, participated in the most important exhibitions and worked with the most famous Liberty architects, including the architect Alfredo Campanini (1873-1926), designer of Villa Bernasconi. It therefore seemed interesting to re-establish a connection during this – albeit temporary – exhibition, imagining what the house must have looked like at the beginning of the twentieth century.