Do not miss the opportunity to see an exhibition of 25 paintings, photographs and ephemera at the Estorick Collection that documents the relationship and lives of the husband and wife painters Zoran Music (1909-2005) and Ida Barbarigo (1925-). The exhibition closes on 12 June 2011. There is a strong connection with the Estorick Collection – the painters were friends of Eric and Salome Estorick (founders of the Estorick’s permanent collection of Modern Italian Art), whom they first met in 1952.
Both the photographs and the paintings are a moving record of both artists’ lives. Music and Barbarigo first met in springtime in Trieste in 1944, their growing romance cut short by Music’s arrest, and interrogation by the Nazis in October 1944 following accusations that he was a spy. On his rejection of subsequent attempts to recruit him into the SS, he was sent to Dachau. The time he spent in the concentration camp is reflected indirectly in his later paintings of the bleached hills of Siena and the quiet internal paintings depicting herds of horses. In the 1970s he was compelled to revisit Dachau and created the series of works, entitled “We are Not the Last”, that addressed his period of internment directly. Music stated, “After Dachau, I had to go to the heart of things.”
Music and Barbarigo, who married in 1949, divided their time between Venice and Paris. Barbarigo (born as Ida Corin) had been born into a Venetian family, which had been artists since the 16th century. Throughout their relationship the couple kept separate studios and apartments, and led separate lives, meeting to dine together in the evenings.
Barbarigo was Music’s muse but also an artist in her own right and her work, whether created in Paris or Venice, contained some influence of Venice, as in “Small Tables and Chairs,” painted in 1954.
This exhibition provides a valuable insight into the relationship of the two artists, from their individual perspectives.
The Estorick Collection
39a Canonbury Square, London, N1 2AN