Casanova: The Seduction of Europe
Legion of Honor
San Francisco Area
10 FEB 2018 - 28 MAY 2018
Casanova: The Seduction of Europe explores 18th-century Europe through the eyes of one of its most colorful characters, Giacomo Casanova (Italian, 1725–1798). Renowned today as a seducer and an adventurer, Casanova was known to his contemporaries as a charming and witty conversationalist, an expert on many topics, and an international man of letters. He was also a gambler, a spy, and one of history’s greatest travelers. Featuring approximately 90 works—including paintings by Canaletto, Pietro Longhi, William Hogarth, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, and François Boucher; sculptures by Jean-Antoine Houdon; works on paper by Giovanni Battista Piranesi; period furnishings, delicate porcelains, silver, and period costumes—Casanova will bring the famed author’s world to life. Of special note are three tableaux, illustrating, respectively, a visit to a convent in Venice, a morning toilette in Paris, and a dissipated night of cards in London—scenes composed of mannequins in 18th-century costumes amid period furniture. Thematic threads running through the exhibition include travel; courtship and seduction; theater and identity; and the pleasures of dining.