PaperCity Magazine

September 2017 - Dallas

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A romp of an exhibition b e g i n s i t s c r o s s - continental tour this fall at the Kimbell Art Museum. "Casanova: The Seduction of Europe" examines the frills, excesses, sensual pursuits, and zeitgeist of an age — mid-18th-century France, England, and Italy, framed by the pomp and pleasures of the Rococo court. Venetian- born Casanova (1725-1798), whose name is synonymous with seduction, was much more than a paramour. His shape-shifting life included great exploits, prison escapes, and a career as a spy. A raconteur of wit and and in-demand guest at the most glittering salons and gatherings, this international man of letters intersected the leading figures of his time, including monarchs Catherine the Great (he visited her cult of celebrity, reinvention of identity, gossip as currency, and obsessions with travel and novelty are all cultural forces that confront us." The Kimbell, MFA Boston, and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco organize and serve as venues for the show's grand tour. "Casanova: The Seduction of Europe," at the Kimbell Art Museum, through December 31; Catherine D. Anspon Jean-Marc Nattier's Thalia, Muse of Comedy, 1739, at the Kimbell Art Museum CASANOVA CALLING in Russia), Louis XV of France, and George III of Great Britain; philosophers Voltaire and Rousseau; and even Benjamin Franklin during his duty as American ambassador to France. Casanova's posthumously published memoir, the juicy History of My Life, serves as inspiration and departure for this show, which conjures via 200 works the grand stage upon which this brilliant dandy played. Canvases by Canaletto, Tiepolo, Bellotto, Longhi, Piranesi, Boucher, Houdon, Fragonard, Hogarth, and Reynolds are exhibited alongside sculpture, drawing, prints, furnishings, objets d'art, fashion, and musical instruments. As Kimbell director Eric M. Lee writes in the accompanying catalog: "We suspect that visitors and readers will find that Casanova's era has plenty in common with our own, as the THE FINE ARTS MUSEUMS OF SAN FRANCISCO

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