San Donato Milanese, 10 February 2011 – A bridge between Venetian and Flemish art, anticipated since the fifteenth century; Europe united by commercial and creative trade; symbiosis between economic and aesthetic vitality. This is the focus of the Venetian and Flemish Masters exhibition in the Bozar in Brussels, in which Eni is the main partner following the success of the From Van Dyck to Bellotto - magnificenceat the courtof Savoy exhibitionof 2009. The exhibition brings together masterpieces from the Accademia Carrara in Bergamo (currently closed for renovation) and the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp (KMSKA). It demonstrates the interdependency of the Flemish and Venetian schools, illustrating four centuries of contact and influence between two schools of painting, which greatly helped to shape Western art and to develop a European identity in its early form. Giovanni Bellini came across the works of Rogier van der Weyden and vice versa; Peter Paul Rubens is known to have studied the works of Titian ad Veronese. This diffusion of works and collections would have been impossible without the fruitful maritime, commercial, and political trading between the North and the South.
The Republic of Venice had maintained regular and often contact with Flanders over the centuries, unlike other Italian territories that had a more immediate and temporary influence. In the 15th century, Flemish and Venetian painters influenced each other equally, but their paths then become divergent with the artists of Flanders, who turned more and more to references to Rome and the pictorial tradition of that city only to then rediscover in the 17th century, with Rubens, the art of the Venetian school.
The Venetian and Flemish Masters exhibition, presented in four sections, takes the spectator through four key centuries of European painting (from the 15th to the 18th century) and illustrates the many points of contact and mutual influences involved in the relations between Brussels, Bruges, Antwerp and Venice in terms of training and emulation. In the fifteenth century, with the rise of portrait and devotional painting, the works of Giovanni Bellini and Pisanello will be compared with those of other masters such as Rogier Van der Weyden. The sixteenth century, with landscapes and devotional works, will compare the works of Titian, Veronese and Palma il Vecchio with those of their Flemish colleagues; the seventeenth, characterised by images of the sacred and the profane, includes paintings by Rubens, Padovanino and Tiepolo. Finally, the eighteenth century compares the ”Vedutismo’ by Canaletto, Francesco Guardi and Pietro Longhi with the landscape paintings of the northern European artists.
Eni’s cultural sensitivities and support, in 2010 alone, have been crucial in the realisation of some of the most important art events in Italy and Europe. Among these are the exhibition of Titian’s masterpiece Donna allo Specchio/Femme au Miroir (Palazzo Marino, Milan, which received over 190,000 visitors) and the exhibition, Antiquity rediscovered. Innovation and Resistance in the 18th century. Held in the Louvre (which receives considerable support from Eni), it traces the emergence of Neoclassicism, the result of Europe rediscovering its artistic heritage.
Through the “Culture of energy, energy of culture‘ initiative, Eni is retracing the steps of its founder Enrico Mattei. Values such as innovation, culture, sustainability, efficiency and partnership are in Eni's DNA.
Eni is present in Belgium with a Liaison Office in the European Union offices, created to handle its relations with the EU, Polimeri Europa, Saipem and Distrigas (acquired in 2008), which has been an important player for 75 years in Belgium’s gas market and sells gas in Belgium to industries, local gas distributors and electricity producers.