Go See: Americani a Firenze

by Liza Laserow


Arthur Bowen Davies: Dancing Children ca 1902, Oil on Canvas

Until July 15 the at the gorgeous Palazzo Strozzi in Florence is exhibiting American Impressionists. The exhibition shows the Impressionist painters of the New Continent and its bonds with Europe, in this case with Italy. Europe was a point of origin where to find the roots of art and history at the highest level of American artists. Italy was seen as a promised land and the three italian cities: Rome, Venice and Florence, were symbols of artistic beauty. This exhibition is particularly interesting because it allows the public to get closer to one almost unknown or at least overlooked side of the painting at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Discovering those American artists who received the stimulus of European culture also means going beyond the stereotype of an isolated and distant America.

One of the painters in the exhibition is Arthur Bowen Davies who was born in Utica, New York in 1862 and spent the last four years in Florence painting landscapes. Davies was a principal organizer of the 1913 Armory Show and was a member of The Eight, a group of painters including five associated with the Ashcan school: William Glackens (1870–1938), Robert Henri (1865–1929), George Luks (1867–1933), Everett Shinn (1876–1953) and John French Sloan (1871–1951), along with Ernest Lawson (1873–1939) and Maurice Prendergast (1859–1924). Davies is best known for his ethereal figure paintings.

Palazzo Strozzi: http://www.palazzostrozzi.org/index.jsp?idProgetto=2&idLinguaSito=2