Giuseppe De Nittis (1846–1884) was the most influential of the Italian artists living in Paris in the second half of the 19th century. A contemporary of Boldini and the Macchiaioli, he was a friend of Caillebotte, Manet and Degas.
Prepared in association with the museum in De Nittis's home city of Barletta, near Bari in Apulia, the exhibition comprises some 110 paintings and pastels from public and private collections in Italy, France and the United States. Some of these works have never been shown publicly before. This is a thematic/historical presentation of a painter who exhibited at the Paris Salon from 1869 to 1884 and took part in the first Impressionist exhibition in photographer Nadar's studio in 1874.
Ever attentive to elegance and changes in fashion, this true painter of modern life observed the Paris boulevards, building sites and the horse races at Auteuil and Longchamp. He was also a sensitive landscape painter, as much at home with the contrasts of light of his native Italy as with the misty skies of the Ile de France and the fogs of London.
With Manet and Degas, he was one of the first to use pastel for large-scale works. He was also one of the leading exponents of "Painterly Japonisme" and his late work abounds in boldness of composition and layout.
This exhibition will subsequently be on show at the Palazzo del Governatore in Parma, from 5 February to 8 May 2011.