The Easel

7th May 2024

Willem de Kooning and Italy at the Gallerie dell’Accademia, Venice

de Kooning visited Rome in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Did this inspire in him a new way of looking? It’s the premise of a big show in Venice but the writer is unnconvinced. A group of landscapes are “stunners”, though more related to American highways than Italy. Further, works that show “extreme moods” are less reminiscent of classical Rome than “the Netherlandish Old Masters Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Bruegel with their images of torment [and] earthly delights.”