March is the month that most museums in Italy change over from the winter exhibitions, which tend to end in January or February, to the Spring exhibitions that will carry on into the summer. Of the currently announced exhibits in Rome in Spring 2016, these five stand out. Go from ancient history to late 19th century Paris, to Japan for some manga and to Parma for some late Renaissance art, all without changing cities.

Dec 2015 to May 8 2016 – Museo dell’Ara Pacis

Toulouse-Lautrec in Rome
Toulouse-Lautrec in Rome

170 works from the Museo di Belle Arti di Budapest are on loan to the exhibition space at the Ara Pacis in Rome. The works depict the artist’s life in Paris from 1891 to 1990 before his untimely death. (Official site)


Manga Hokusai Manga. The modern comic book reads the master
Feb. 5 to April 7, 2016 – Istituto Giapponese dei Cultura [FREE]

Kyokutei Bakin (author) and Katsushika Hokusai (artist), Crescent Moon: The Adventure of Tametomo, 1807 - 1811, Collection of National Diet Library, Tokyo
Kyokutei Bakin (author) and Katsushika Hokusai (artist), Crescent Moon: The Adventure of Tametomo, 1807 – 1811, Collection of National Diet Library, Tokyo

The Hokusai manga was produced in the 19th century (1814-1878) and is often believed to be the roots of the modern Japanese comic genre. This traveling exhibition debuts in Rome.


Botero via Crucis
Palaexpo, Feb. 13 to May 1, 2016

Botero in Rome exhibition display
Botero in Rome exhibition display

A major work of religious art by Fernando Botero created in 2010 and 2011, composed of 27 oils and 34 works on paper. “What we see here is a crossroads where memories of his city, of his homeland, are strongly criss-crossed by forms of worship deeply ingrained in his culture and in his iconography.  The soft features, the ideas and the forms that seem so stable, are criss-crossed here by the upheaval in which grief and tragedy take shape, adopting the figurative language that is a hallmark of the Colombian artist’s work, yet without abandoning his uniquely distorting gaze.” (Official site)


Domus Aurea project
Domus Aurea, March 1 to June 26, 2016

Special visits to the restoration of the Domus Aurea with a guide (and hard hat). While the site will be still under restoration for years to come as archaeologists seek to recover and integrate the perception of the two ancient monuments, the older underground structure (Domus Aurea) with the upper more recent one (Baths of Trajan) by visually underlining the architectural features of the Domus Aurea from the outside. While this is taking place, tours of the restoration site in limited numbers are available. (Official site)


Correggio and Parmigianino. Art in Parma in the 16th century
Scuderie del Quirinale, March 15 to June 2016


Curated by art historian David Ekserdjian, the exhibit seeks to decenter attention from the great Italian hubs to demonstrate that Parma in this period was also producing art worth looking at. The two titular artists’ work will make up the main part of the exhibition, but of course other works by lesser known artists will complete the picture of a golden age in Parma. (Official site)

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