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Easel Detail with Picture Michelangelo Pistoletto


Michelangelo Pistoletto Biella, 1933 –

Date 1962–1975
Object type painting
Medium, technique silkscreen on mirror

126 × 70.5 × 2.5 cm

Inventory number 2017.9.U
Collection Department of Art after 1800
On view Hungarian National Gallery Building D, First Floor, From Delacroix to Vasarely – Highlights from the Collection of International Art after 1800, Baroque Hall

Michelangelo Pistoletto is one of the leading exponents of Italian arte povera. The basis, both conceptually and physically, for his most emblematic and widely known works is the silvery, reflective surface of a mirror, onto which Pistoletto paints objects and figures or places photographic images. The composition is in a constant state of motion, and changes depending on the surrounding space. His tendency to take everyday scenes as his subject matter, and to emphasise them by placing them on stylised surfaces, recalls the spirit of pop art, as does his use of photographic details. The real environment that appears in the mirror and the photographic image applied to its surface become virtually indistinguishable from one another. In the composition titled Detail of an Easel with a Canvas, the artist has given a new context to a well-known motif from the history of painting: we can see the back of a painting standing on an easel, a familiar trope from self-portraits and works of trompe l’œil painting, raising questions about the place and future of conventional representation in the age of the “dematerialisation” of art.


Múzeumi Kalauz: Magyar Nemzeti Galéria, A Magyar Nemzeti Galéria kiadványai, Szépművészeti Múzeum – Magyar Nemzeti Galéria, Budapest, 2018, p. 263.

Remekművek: Magyar Nemzeti Galéria, A Magyar Nemzeti Galéria kiadványai 2020/5, Szépművészeti Múzeum – Magyar Nemzeti Galéria, Budapest, 2020, p. 118.

This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.

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