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The Tessin Lecture 2019: Anna Ottani Cavina, Inventing the Landscape

Press release   •   Nov 05, 2019 06:45 UTC

Simon Denis, Study of the Roman Campagna, c. 1800. Photo: Anna Danielsson/Nationalmuseum.

Anna Ottani Cavina is Professor Emeritus of Art History, University of Bologna. In this year’s Tessin Lecture she will talk about Inventing the Landscape: The Origin of Outdoor Painting in Italy in the Early Nineteenth Century, the rise of plein air when artists abandoned their studios and took to painting straight from nature.

Date: Wednesday November 13, 5 pm – 6 pm
Venue: Södra ljusgården (The South Courtyard), Nationalmuseum, Södra Blasieholmshamnen 2, Stockholm
Language: English
Free admission. Limited number of seats, no advance booking.

About the lecture
The talk will examine the rise of plein air when artists abandoned their studios in the late eighteenth century and took to painting straight from nature. This essentially took place in the luminous landscape of Italy which English, French, German and Scandinavian artists responded to and recreated. So memorable were the landscapes they captured from that reality as to prompt a whole new perception of the Italian countryside. For a painted landscape by no means mirrors the real thing. It is also a place of ideas, memory, the imagination.

Anna Ottani Cavina
Anna Ottani Cavina is Professor Emeritus of Art History, University of Bologna; Adjunct Professor of Italian Art History, The Johns Hopkins University SAIS Europe; Founding member and former director of the Federico Zeri Foundation; member of the scientific committee Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia; served as distinguished visiting professor of art history at Columbia University and visiting professor at Brown University; visiting fellow at the Yale Center for British Art; senior visiting fellow and later (2014) Edmond J. Safra Visiting Professor at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. Member of the Istituto Veneto di Scienze Lettere e Arti; Ph. D. University of Rome. Recipient of the Chevalier (1996) and Officier (2011) dans l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres; Chevalier dans l’ordre de la Légion d’honneur in 2001.

The Tessin Lecture
Once a year the Nationalmuseum, Stockholm invites a prominent international scholar to give a lecture in art history. The lecture, which is public, is a way to pay tribute to an exceptional scholar in art history and emphasize the museum’s commitment to research.

More information
Hanna Tottmar, head of press,, +46 (0)8 5195 4400

Nationalmuseum is Sweden’s museum of art and design. The collections comprise older paintings, sculpture, drawings and graphic art, and applied art and design up to the present day. The museum building has currently been renovated and reopened in autumn 2018. Nationalmuseum has partnerships with Svenska Dagbladet, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, The Wineagency and the Grand Hôtel Stockholm.