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What's On at Europe's Museums

Botticelli at home in Florence; clowns on canvas in Paris; Rome pays tribute to Klee; China's famous clay army in Berlin.


A Eurostar train at Florence's central station advertising the exhibition "Botticelli and Filippino."

Master and Apprentice Together in Florence

Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, Italy

In what's been described as the cultural event of the year in Italy, the masterpieces of Sandro Botticelli and his pupil, Filippino Lippi, have been brought together in one of Florence's most magnificent venues, the Palazzo Strozzi. Organizers say it's the first display to trace the intertwined careers of the two Renaissance artists. Although Botticelli is now the greater known of the two, some art critics say his apprentice, Lippi, was just as good a painter, if not better. Ironically, it was only Lippi who achieved fame during his lifetime -- Botticelli was relatively unknown to his contemporaries. The show marks the 500th anniversary of Lippi's death in 1504, six years before that of his master. Included alongside famous paintings such as Botticelli's "Mystic Nativity," are works that have never before been shown in public, such as Lippi's "Repentant Mary Magdalen."

"Botticelli and Filippino: Grace and passion in 15th century Florentine painting" runs until July 11. The show is open every day from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m., Saturday and Sunday until 11 p.m.

When Artists Clown Around

Grand Palais, Paris, France

What does it mean when artists portray themselves as a clown figure? This is the central question that inspired a new exhibition in Paris, called "The Grand Parade: Portrait of the artist as a clown." It takes the year 1780 as a starting point -- a time when artists began seeing themselves less as equals to the Greats of society, and more as commentators or outcasts on the fringes of society. To explore this theme, the exhibition gathers together more than 200 paintings, drawings and sculptures by artists such as Picasso, Goya, Klee, Beckmann and Chagall. To heighten the contrast with the subject matter on display, the exhibition's planners tried to avoid a circus-like feeling in the halls of the Grand Palais, instead going for a deliberately sober atmosphere.

"The Grand Parade: Portrait of the artist as a clown" runs through May 31. The exhibition is open daily from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m., Wednesday from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. Closed Tuesdays.

Paul Klee Retrospective in Rome

Complesso del Vittoriano, Rome, Italy

Das gelbe Haus

"The Yellow House," Paul Klee.

The last big Paul Klee retrospective in Rome was 24 years ago, and evidently, the city has decided it's time once again to honor what many consider to be one of the most influential painters of the first half of the 20th century. During his career, the Swiss-born Klee put his unique stamp on important developments in modern art, including cubism, the "Blue Rider" group, and the Bauhaus movement. The retrospective in Rome includes around 200 of Klee's works, and is the most important Klee show Italy has ever seen, according to the curator of the Complesso del Vittoriano. The works on view enable visitors to trace Klee's development as an artist, from his allegorical etchings of the early 20th century to the more shadowy paintings toward the end of his life in which Klee explored his fear of death. Plenty of space is also devoted to the paintings Klee completed following his travels in Tunisia in 1914.

The Paul Klee retrospective at the Complesso del Vittoriano runs until June 27. Opening hours are Monday to Thursday, from 9 a.m. until 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 9:30 a.m. until 11:30 p.m., and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. until 8:30 p.m.

China's Terracotta Army Marches on Berlin

Palast der Republik, Berlin, Germany

Ausstellung Terrakotta-Krieger des ersten chinesischen Kaisers Qin Shi Huang Di

Some of the warrior statues from China's terracotta army.

When this exhibit of 130 copies of China's famous terracotta warriors opened in Berlin on the weekend, it attracted more than 10,000 visitors. But the huge interest could partly be due to the exhibit's venue in the Palast der Republik. The former seat of the East German government is usually closed to the public, and is currently at the center of controversy because of plans to tear it down. Berlin is the seventh stop in the terracotta soliders' tour of Germany. The originals -- of which there are around 8,600 -- were discovered in 1974 in the Chinese province of Shaanxi, in the gigantic underground tomb of the first emperor, Qin Shinhuang. Their unearthing is considered to be one of the greatest archeological achievements of the 20th century. For the German exhibit, copies of the originals were baked in ancient kilns.

China's Terracotta Army is on display at Berlin's Palast der Republik through June 27. Opening hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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  • Date 15.03.2004
  • Author DW Staff (dc)
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  • Permalink http://p.dw.com/p/4ncp
  • Date 15.03.2004
  • Author DW Staff (dc)
  • Print Print this page
  • Permalink http://p.dw.com/p/4ncp