The Light of Southern Italy

The Light of Southern Italy

This fall, New Yorkers can bask in the Mediterranean sunshine at the Italian Cultural Institute’s exhibition of paintings from the 19th-century Neapolitan School. On view from October 8 to November 5, “The Light of Southern Italy” features artists from the peninsula’s southern regions, a collection rarely shown in New York. The paintings, saturated in light and color, depict life in the south with vibrant scenes of the land, the sea, and the people.

“The works are infused with the beauty of the landscape from the south of Italy — its particular light and atmosphere,” said Marco Bertoli, the exhibition curator. “Many of the pictures include the regional people and their traditions. The works transport the viewer to a part of Italy and a specific moment in history that is sometimes overlooked but will seduce the viewer immediately.”


“The Light of Southern Italy” is the second collaborative exhibition with the Italian Cultural Institute in a series on 19th-century Italian art, Bertoli’s specialty. Last year, he introduced the Florentine School with “The Macchiaioli” at the Italian Cultural Institute; after the present Neapolitan School exhibition, he will curate a show on the Venetian School in 2016.

Bertoli has been passionate about 19th-century artists in Italy for the past 30 years, but he wants to share the paintings and sculptures with Americans.

“The 19th century was an incredibly productive time for European art in general,” he explained, “but the Italian artistic contribution is not well known in the United States. New York is such a great art city, and I have always hoped the public here would come to love and understand these spectacular paintings the way that I do.”

In addition to curating exhibitions like “The Light of Southern Italy,” Bertoli runs private galleries in New York and Modena, Italy. He also serves as a consultant at Christie’s in New York and works with institutions and private collectors – including Eataly, for which he curated an art installation of contemporary sculptures that travels from store to store across Italy, starting at the first Eataly in Torino.

marco bertoli eataly

“The Light of Southern Italy: 19th-Century Paintings from the Neapolitan School” is on view from October 8 to November 5 at the Italian Cultural Institute (686 Park Avenue, Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.).  For more information, contact 212-879-4242, ext. 338.