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Luigi Valadier between inspiration and Arcadia

Frick Collection New York

A talented draughtsman, designer, goldsmith, silversmith and bronze smelter, Luigi Valadier (Rome 1726 – 1785) was one of the protagonists of 18th-century decorative art in the Eternal City where Rococo exuberance and the emerging neoclassical rigour coexisted. His works, precious and extravagant, both in the materials used and in their conception, evoke a majestic and sensual classicism much appreciated by the cultured and refined aristocratic travellers who saw Imperial Rome as a fundamental stage of their Grand Tour.
In the exhibition “Luigi Valadier: Splendor in Eighteenth-Century Rome” at the Frick Collection in New York (31 October 2018 – 20 January 2019), more than fifty objects and drawings tell the whole story of his art, through important loans from Europe and the United States.
Curated by Alvar Gonzàles Palacios, his greatest expert, this is the first monographic exhibition that analyses the career of an artist who, with surprising inspiration, has delighted the refined taste of popes, sovereigns and passionate connoisseurs, including some prestigious Roman families such as Borghese, Colonna, Chigi, Odescalchi and Giustiniani.