The Petit Palais is pleased to present work by sculptor Vincenzo Gemito (1852-1929) that has never been seen in France.
Gemito started life abandoned on the steps of an orphanage in Naples. He grew up to become one of the greatest sculptors of his era, celebrated in his hometown and later in the rest of Italy and Europe. At the age of twenty-five, he was a sensation at the Salon in Paris and, the following year, at the 1878 Universal Exposition. He was by turns criticised and adored by critics, but was responsible for introducing realism into Italian sculpture. Back in Naples, he continued to produce work in spite of bouts of madness.
After his death, he gradually disappeared from art history, dismissed as an artist of the picturesque, which unfairly ignored his pre-eminent role in the sculpture of his time. With nearly 120 works on display, the exhibition is a wonderful chance to rediscover this great artist. It has been organised by the Petit Palais in collaboration with the Museo di Capodimonte, Naples, which will later host the exhibition.
Exhibition organised with the Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte