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September 17, 2022

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Long wait overasexhibition opens

The much-anticipated exhibition “Uffizi: Self-Portrait Masterpieces” has been unveiled at Bund One Art Museum.

The exhibition is one of 10 from the Uffizi collection that will be shown in Shanghai over the next five years, thanks to a collaboration between the Uffizi Gallery and Shanghai Tix Media.

“This is the first and main presence of the Uffizi Gallery in Shanghai and China,” said Eike Schmidt, director of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy, during an earlier interview with Shanghai Daily in February.

However, due to the lockdown in Shanghai, the exhibition was postponed.

But the long wait has been worth it.

“Uffizi: Self-Portrait Masterpieces” is comprised of 50 epic works of art from the 16th to the 21st century.

Works by 50 masters of art, headed by Raphael, Titian, Rubens, Rembrandt, Jacques-Louis David, Morandi, Chagall, Yayoi Kusama and Cai Guoqiang, are on display.

Raphael’s self-portrait is one of his most famous and precious paintings.

Raphael (1483-1520) was one of the leading lights of the Italian art period known as the Renaissance.

Here the young artist is shown in a half-bust portrait, with shoulder-length chestnut hair covered by a cap. His dark eyes are fixed on the viewers and there is an absorbed, melancholy expression on his face.

Rembrandt (1601-1669), another milestone figure in the art history, is best known as a painter of portraits for his decisive contrast of light and shade.

Rembrandt painted his self-portrait not long before his death, and the artist was in no mood to flatter himself in the painting.

The expression in the set of his mouth seems to assure the viewers that he knew better than anyone that such a golden past was already behind him.

Apart from the classical and realistic portrait, the exhibition also includes some special self-portraits such as Marc Chagall’s.

Painted over a nine-year span, from 1959 to 1968, Chagall’s self-portrait is both an homage to France and a celebration of life itself.

The Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame and the Seine in the background are all clearly recognizable. The bride in the painting has been identified as Chagall’s first wife, Bella, who was the subject of many of Chagall’s paintings.

Another interesting self-portrait is Yayoi Kusama’s.

With her hypnotic gaze and parts of the face colored like a manga character, the artist once again uses her most stylistic pattern — polka dots — to construct her face and torso.

Exhibition info:

Date: Through January 8, 10am-6pm

Ticket: 218 yuan

Venue: Bund One Art Museum

Address: 1 Zhongshan Rd E1


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