Italian Blue Skies and Blue Palaces

Pisa’s Palazzo Blu is continuing to gain ever greater reputation for the imaginative exhibitions it holds there.

(For previous exhibitions do look at my posts at:

The current main exhibition is that on Salvador Dali and is called ‘Il sogno del classico’ (the classical dream). It continues until the end of February.

Dali is such a multi-faceted artist that one can never have too many exhibitions on him. The theme of this one is based on what the great master said: ‘learn how to paint like the old masters. After that you can do anything you like and everyone will respect you.’

The majority of the works, indeed, reflect the great Italian renaissance painters, in particular Michelangelo and Raphael. There are also 102 brilliant xylographic illustrations Dali did for an edition of Dante’s divine comedy (commissioned by the Italian government in 1950) and for Cellini’s autobiography. (Photography is not allowed at the main exhibition so I have borrowed these pictures courtesy of the Palazzo Blu).

It’s quite pointless to start one’s painting career as a pseudo-abstractionist. Learning the proportions, the chiaroscuros, the poses, which form the basis of figurative art, is essential. Early pictures show how Dali started off in impressionist key as, indeed, did Picasso.

Don’t’ miss out on two other exhibitions at the Palazzo Blu:

  1. Chinese stories as depicted by Chen Jian Hong born in Tianjin in the north of the country.

This runs until 5th February 2017 and is quite delightful.

  1. The Arno flood which also tragically hit Pisa on 4th November 1966 (although the Florence devastation is the one largely remembered by most people today).

If you still manage to see more after these three exhibitions then why not visit the Palazzo Blu’s permanent exhibition which is free. This was further expanded in 2013 and presents the interior of an aristocratic Pisan palace with its furnishings and decorations to perfection and a wonderful collection of paintings including an Artenisia Gentileschi.

On the first floor there’s an excellent  collection of mediaeval paintings:

It’s remarkable to think that this palace, once the home of Giulio Rosselmini Gualandi family until the 1970’s, was in a state of near dilapidation until the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Pisa purchased the building in 2001 and opened it to the public for the first time in 2008.

Opening times are:

Mon-Fri 10 am – 7 pm, Sat, Sun and holidays 10 a to 8 pm

Truly, the Palazzo Blu with its original aquamarine exterior colour is a worthy competitor to Florence’s Palazzo Strozzi, in terms of the presentation and interest of its temporary exhibitions.

(Incidentally, it’s essential to visit the current Palazzo Strozzi exhibition too for it’s dedicated until January 22nd) to the works of probably China’s most creative and politically active artist, Ai Weiwei.)

It’s great to see two major Chinese artists’ exhibitions near us, especially when we had such a fascinating time during our first visit to that country so recently.


3 thoughts on “Italian Blue Skies and Blue Palaces

  1. Certainly a must see exhibition and I especially like the lady with the cat on her shoulder which is what my Cheeky no1 used to love to do also our Cheekie no 2 does the same whereas one of our other cats used to run up our legs and land on our shoulders or head great fun. This reminds me I have a small painting to do with our friend Sam and his cat Whiskey. I look forwards to seeing the above mentioned painting soon.

  2. Pingback: Escher at Pisa – From London to Longoio (and Lucca and Beyond) Part Three

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