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from October 12 to January 13, 2019

French Academy in Rome – viale Trinità dei Monti, 1 (Villa Medici). Opening hours: Tuesday-Sunday from 12:00 am to 7:00 pm – full price ticket € 6, combo ticket exhibition + guided tour of Villa Medici and its gardens € 12, free admission for visitors under the age of 18

Tel. 06 6761311  |       

Le Violon d’Ingres is an exhibition that pays tribute to the strength of Villa Medici’s heritage, with the desire to unite the art of the past with the contemporary one, in creating audacious and unexpected dialogues. Muriel Mayette-Holtz, director of the French Academy in Rome, entrusted curator Chiara Parisi who developed the exhibit through a dialogue with artist Christian Boltanski.

Le Violon d’Ingres is an exceptional display on the transversal and radical practices of great personalities of all times. Centered around the figure of Victor Hugo with a rigorous and dazzling selection of his drawings – whose importance and inspiration for many contemporary artists become more and more significant – the exhibition presents in the same time the passions and the obsessions, less known by the public, of extraordinary figures such as Guillaume Apollinaire, Antonin Artaud, Samuel Beckett, Sergueï Mikhailovich Eisenstein, Federico Fellini, Jean Genet, Franz Kafka, Pierre Klossowski, Carlo Levi, Nelson Mandela, Louise Michel, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Arnold Schönberg and contemporary artists Etel Adnan, Chantal Akerman, Chris Kraus, Pierre Guyotat, Abbas Kiarostami, David Lynch, Patti Smith and Robert Wilson.

Materialized by his famous violin, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres’ presence in the exhibition is quite exceptional: an artist – Rome Price and director of Villa Medici from 1835 to 1841 – who never subordinated his musical passion to that for painting. The idiomatic expression “avoir un violon d’Ingres ” (to have a violin of Ingres) takes its very origin in his person and was created, in reference to the less visible passions, sometimes real obsessions, which overlap with the “official” practices, intertwined with them, accompany them, ‘deviate’ them and densify artistic thought.

The project intends to show how the idea of ​​artistic creation cannot be reduced or categorized with disciplinary grids, but finds its own life from the very tangle of different practices and disciplines which contribute to the creation of poetics, visions and changes, beyond the context – political, literary, philosophical, artistic, musical. In harmony with the spirit of openness to all forms of expression that characterizes Villa Medici, the exhibit is conceived around artworks, from installation, painting, drawing to the tapestry, the sculpture and moving image thus revealing a free path within the most intimate, obsessive and radical aspects of personalities who have marked forever our vision of the world.


Check in Rome - a project by Markonet in cooperation with Aeroporti di Roma and Codacons | director: Stefano Zerbi