Italian museum assembles impressionist works from various collections
By KENT HARRIS | STARS AND STRIPES Published: December 20, 2016
While art museums can be found almost everywhere in Europe, exceptional assemblages such as the one at the Museo di Santa Caterina — a short drive from Aviano Air Base and Caserma Ederle and Del Din in Vicenza — are very rare.
The one-of-a-kind “History of Impressionism” exhibit features more than 100 works by artists that even the most casual art lover would recognize.
The show, which opened in October and runs through April 17, features dozens of works by such artists as Van Gogh, Manet, Monet, Cezanne, Renoir, Gauguin, Pisarro, Degas, Sisley, Seurat, Ingres and Delacroix. It is essentially a who’s who of impressionist painters whose work — mainly in the 1800s — was at first reviled, then revered by art critics and the public.
The show features works on loan from private collections and several museums — including a few from the States. So although similar exhibits have been set at various museums around Europe, these paintings are unlikely to be shown together again.
Because paintings are grouped in rooms by themes, those wanting to check out all the paintings by Van Gogh, for instance, will have to make their way through the entire exhibit. Don’t miss Room 6, which features “Cypress with Two Figures,” striking due to the amount of paint used, which gives it a three-dimensional feel.
In general, the artists’ most famous works aren’t a part of the exhibit. But those who frequent museums around Europe will recognize at least a few. There are also more than a dozen works by Japanese painters who were active in the same period.
Background on the artists and the movement is provided along the walls in the more than a dozen rooms where the paintings are displayed. Unfortunately for English speakers, it’s all in Italian, so paying 6 euros for an audio guide in addition to the 14 euros for admission is probably a good idea. Of course, it’s quite possible to spend a couple of hours just looking at the paintings and making your own interpretations.
Included in the ticket price is access to the museum’s archaeological section, four rooms featuring modern art, and the adjoining church, which features frescoes and remnants of frescoes dating back to the 15th century.
Museo di Santa Caterina
Museo di Santa Caterina (Museum of Saint Catherine) is located at Piazzetta Mario Botter 1 in the northeast section of Treviso’s historic center. There are several ways to get to Treviso from Aviano Air Base and Vicenza.
From Aviano Air Base you can take the A27 and A28 (about a 45-minute drive). From Vicenza, the museum is about a 90-minute drive along back roads through Cittadella and Castelfranco di Veneto. Most of the roads in the city center are one-way, and parking is scarce. Your best bet is to park on a lot around the ring road.
Alternatively, you can get to Treviso via rail. The train station is just south of the city center and about a 15-minute walk from the museum.
The exhibit is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Fridays through Sundays. It will be closed on selected holidays through April 17.
Admission costs 14 euros for adults, 11 euros for senior citizens and 8 euros for those ages 6-17. Audio guides (in English and Italian for adults) cost 6 euros. They’re 4 euros for children but are available only in Italian.
There’s only a vending machine inside the museum. But snack bars, restaurants and cafes dot the streets only a few blocks away.
Information and reservations are available at (+39) 0422-429999 or www.lineadombra.it (in Italian). There is very little English signage in the museum, but employees appear to speak at least a little English.