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A Poetic Lemon

The lemon, an iconic citrus fruit widely spread in the Mediterranean landscape, has distant origins which probably gave rise to it in China where it was cultivated already before the Song Dynasty, or perhaps before, in India in the Region of Assam and in Northern Burma. A fruit that is also at the center of Villa Medici's Spring program thanks to the exceptional loan from the Musée d'Orsay of the artwork Le Citron (The Lemon) painted by Édouard Manet in 1880, which will be exhibited for three months in the historic rooms of the Cardinal de' Medici. Today, the precious citrus fruits are recalled by visitors to Villa Medici when they contemplate the frescoed vault of the Birds Room, Ferdinand's private study. Three centuries after the birth of Ferdinando de' Medici's citrus grove, Édouard Manet (Paris, 1832 - 1883) painted the work of the same name dedicated to the depiction of a lemon. Despite its small size (just 14 × 22 centimetres), the painting is considered one of the most important depictions created by the French artist who aspired to become the "St. Francis of Still Life".

Viola Canova - © 2024 ARTE.it for Bulgari Hotel Roma