To Rome and Back: Individualism and Authority in Art, 1500–1800

Resnick Pavilion
June 24, 2018–March 17, 2019
To Rome and Back Exhibition Image

Over the course of its 2,000-year history, Rome has been alternatively held as the epitome of republic, the decadence of empire, the force of Catholicism, the artistic and literary birthplace of naturalism, and above all, the source of classicism. Despite these various, and ostensibly conflicting associations, its classical epithet—the Eternal City—reflects the symbiosis of these qualities and their lasting influence on republics, nations, religions and even continents beyond. For while Rome’s significance waxed and waned through plagues and progress, conflict and collaboration, its political, social, cultural, and religious power remained consistently strong throughout its history.

Assembled entirely from LACMA’s permanent collection, this examination of a significant moment in early Modern Europe reflects the donations and gifts from years of support to the museum’s departments of Costume and Textiles, Decorative Arts and Design, Latin American Art, and Prints and Drawings, in addition to European Paintings and Sculpture. These works reveal the depth of Rome’s impact from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment, before rising individualism, internationalism, and the optimistic equilibrium between secular and religious forces caused the city’s ultimate marginalization.

Listen to a soundtrack accompanying the exhibition organized by LACMA curators in collaboration with Frosty of L.A. radio collective, dublab.

This exhibition was organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

All exhibitions at LACMA are underwritten by the LACMA Exhibition Fund. Major annual support is provided by Kitzia and Richard Goodman and Meredith and David Kaplan, with generous annual funding from Jerry and Kathleen Grundhofer, the Judy and Bernard Briskin Family Foundation, Louise and Brad Edgerton, Edgerton Foundation, Emily and Teddy Greenspan, Marilyn B. and Calvin B. Gross, David Lloyd and Kimberly Steward, David Schwartz Foundation, Inc., and Lenore and Richard Wayne.

Image: Ludovico Mazzanti, The Death of Lucretia, c. 1730, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, gift of The Ahmanson Foundation, 

photo © Museum Associates / LACMA


A Musical Stroll Through Rome

Curators of the exhibition To Rome and Back: Individualism and Authority in Art, 1500–1800 collaborated with Mark McNeill, aka Frosty, from the L.A. music collective dublab to create a playlist that would capture the mood of the exhibition

Tracing the History of Italian Lace

 the exhibition To Rome and Back: Individualism and Authority in Art, 1500–1800  (June 24, 2018–March 17, 2019) hangs a length of linen needle lace that was constructed stitch by stitch with needle and thread.