Following the exhibition “La natura della natura morta”, held in 2001, “Ideale e realtà” was designed to be the second point of reflection on the development of the classic genres of the contemporary western artistic tradition. The event, curated by Peter Weiermair in collaboration with Giusi Vecchi, Samuel Vitali, Eva Von Deuster and Uliana Zanetti, outlined the evolution of the nude over the last two centuries through some 200 prestigious works including paintings, sculptures and drawings, while another exhibition held at the same time consisting of a similar number of works approached the development of the theme in the history of photography. Held in collaboration with Artificio Skira, the exhibition included important works by the main artists of the period in question such as Canova, Rodin, Martini and Bourgeois in the sculpture section; Ingres, Degas, Courbet, Renoir, Cézanne, Picasso, Schiele, Klimt, Modigliani, Dix, Delvaux, Dubuffet, Freud, Hockney, Warhol up to Baselitz and the latest generations in the painting section; photography was represented by Nadar, Stieglitz, Man Ray, Weston, up to Mapplethorpe and Goldin, while the performance section featured Duchamp, Klein, Abramovic, Nitsch up to Stelarc and Beecroft.

Most of the works were loaned by great international institutions such as the Tate Gallery, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Musée de l’Orangerie, the Musée d’Orsay, and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Museum Ludwig of Cologne, the Metropolitan Museum of New York, the Kunsthistorisches Museum of Vienna, the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna of Rome, and the Centro de Arte Reina Sofia of Madrid.