For the Love of Animals. L’Amore per gli Animali
The exhibition presents 22 sculptures in bronze and marble by Elena Engelsen, telling the story of biodiversity and the search for a respectful coexistence of animal species and the environment.
From the fragility of the polar bear to the frowning expression of the gorilla, from the elegance of the chameleon to the pangolin wrapped around itself, the Norwegian sculptor captures expressions and states of mind, giving the animals a vitality stopped in sculpture, capable of eternalizing their morphological characteristics and, with them, their expressive ones. Positioned around the perimeter of the Whale Room, the sculptures punctuate the route, culminating in the three columns - two cochlid columns that seem to pay homage to Rome, one that looks almost like a tribute to 20th-century modernist sculpture - topped by turtles, tapirs and antelopes to symbolically represent the sacredness of these species.
For The Love of Animals expresses Elena Engelsen's love for the natural environment. Through reference to art-historical animalism, a current that originated with a group of French artists in the late 1800s and early 1900s, with a significant increase thanks to artists such as Antoine-Louise Barye and Rembrandt Bugatti, Engelsen looks at the animal and natural world from a perspective that interprets its morphological and expressive peculiarities. Observing an animal from all angles, the sculptor displays a profound knowledge of anatomy and attitudes. Using different materials, from marble to bronze, Engelsen expresses empathy for all animals, from the smallest, such as the snail and the earth pig, to vertebrates, some of which are threatened with extinction all over the planet.
In a world where biodiversity is seriously threatened by human actions and the devastating effects of climate change, Engelsen makes a clear contribution to encouraging people to take responsibility for the animal world and the planet they inhabit. Perhaps this is why she chose to show the polar bear on a base representing an ice cap and place it under the large whale skeleton hanging from the ceiling of the Whale Room.
Sculptress Elena Engelsen's journey of love aims to raise awareness through the universality of art. A journey to be undertaken "for the love of animals".
Elena Engelsen (1952) lives and works in Oslo. She studied at the Steenhouwerij Buitenfeldert (in collaboration with the Gerrit Rietveld Academy) in the Netherlands. During her time in Amsterdam she studied with Joop Boshardt, Cor Kennedy and Kees Andriessen. She returned to Norway in 1980 and began to work with marble, using it as a medium to give her sculpture a variety of nuances, a strong plastic value and a fundamental expressive connotation.
Engelsen's sculptures have been acquired by leading Norwegian museums and institutions, including the National Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Norwegian Art Council and the Oslo City Council Art Collection. His works are also exhibited in various public places, such as the Amstelpark (Amsterdam), the University Hospital and Jernbanetorget (Oslo).
Through reference to art-historical animalism, a movement that originated with a group of French artists in the late 1800s and early 1900s, the sculptor looks at the animal and natural world from a perspective that interprets its morphological and expressive peculiarities. Observing an animal from all angles, Engelsen shows a profound knowledge of anatomy and attitudes: with her works, the artist questions the viewer on how one feels in the shoes of an animal and what it feels like to be threatened by another species.
From 16 October 2021 to 16 January 2022
Tuesday to Sunday from 9.00 to 19.00 (the ticket office closes one hour before)
Closed on: Monday, 25 December, 1 January
Single ticket including museum entrance and exhibition:
non-residents € 7,00 full price; € 5,50 reduced
Residents: € 6,00 full price; € 4,50 reduced.
Free admission for the categories foreseen by the tariff in force and for MIC Card holders.
060608 (tutti i giorni 9.00 - 19.00) o 06 67109270
Roma Culture - Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali
Untitled Association di Roma
Under the sponsorship of
Reale Ambasciata di Norvegia a Roma
In cooperation with
Galleri Brandstrup di Oslo
Ferd e Canica (Norvegia)
Zètema Progetto Cultura