The Multiple Lives of Paintings: European Painting 1500— 1800 explores various moments in the lives of paintings—complex objects with lifespans that can extend well over five hundred years. Building on the success of The Multiple Lives of Drawings, the exhibition highlights twenty-two early modern paintings (1500–1800) in the MacKenzie Art Gallery, University of Regina Collection. Original research by the curators, Sapienza University of Rome art historian Francesco Freddolini and Head Curator Timothy Long, has resulted in fresh attributions for a number of the paintings and discoveries that deepen our understanding of the long and varied lives of works on canvas and panel.
The exhibition will be organized around four themes corresponding to four moments in the existence of a painting: production, reproduction, collecting, and research. Case studies, illustrated with video animations, will help bring to life these themes, clarifying the identities and motivations of producers, the reasons behind copy production, the essential role of collectors, and the current possibilities opened by digital research. An accompanying online exhibition will also be produced for launch this fall.