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© Seed Gallery New York

A Biennale is an art exhibition held every two years, particularly a large and prestigious exhibition of international scope. The first to be founded and still the most famous is the Venice Biennale, which was instituted in 1895 as the ‘International Exhibition of Art of the City of Venice.’ The Venice Biennale claims to represent ‘the most noble activities of the modern spirit without distinction of country.’ At this first Venice Biennale, artists from sixteen different countries were represented, and the committee included such famous personalities as Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, (Britain, 1833-1898), Jozef Israëls, (Netherlands, 1824-1911), Max Liebermann (1847-1935), Gustave Moreau (1826-1898), and Puvis de Chavannes, (France, 1824-1898). The Venice Biennale soon acquired worldwide prestige, and after it resumed in 1948 following the Second World War it became the leading showplace for the established international avant-garde. Henry Spencer Moore, (Britain, 1898-1986), for example, set the seal on his reputation when he won the International Sculpture Prize in 1948. Other exhibitions founded on the Venice model include the São Paulo Biennale, first held in 1951, and the Paris Biennale, first held in 1959.



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