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What is the purpose of exhibitions? To lengthen the CV of the curators, or to offer opportunities for in-depth study for everyone, from scholars to simple enthusiasts?
In the case of the exhibition “La Strage degli Innocenti. Manifesto of Raphaelism by Guido Reni “, inaugurated on January 13th and open until February 18th in Aosta, there are no doubts.
The exhibition, organized thanks to the synergy between the Polo Museale of Emilia Romagna and the Department of Culture of the Autonomous Region of Valle d’Aosta, has as educational goal, as stated by Superintendent Mario Scalini, in the highest sense of the term.
In addition to the possibility of admiring absolute masterpieces, a study of the implicit and explicit sources used by Guido Reni is proposed, as readable in the artist’s masterpiece and in direct comparison with other works exhibited. A few works, but well explained.
In order to better understand and illustrate Guido’s Raphaelism, a work by Raphael is exhibited (for the first time!): “La Perla di Modena”, accompanied by the diagnostic analyses carried out by Art–Test.
The small tablet, discovered in 2010 in the deposits of the Galleria Estense of Modena, was investigated usingscientific methods, and the results were compared with those of other works by the artist and those related to the Madonna of the Pearl in Madrid. All this is presented with great clarity and objectivity.
If you can not go to Aosta, here is the text of the “Journal of Exhibition”.
Against exhibitions, therefore, as Montanari writes? Absolutely not. And if you go to Aosta, let us know.
The exhibition celebrates a unique and difficult season, marked on one hand by the legacy of the masters, with whom it was impossible to compete, and, on the other hand, by the conclusions of the Council of Trento, imposing new prescriptions on the layout of churches, namely forbidding barriers to divide church members from laymen, and causing to re-arrange the lateral chapels. For them new and grandiose altarpieces were commissioned. The painting subjects had to be sacred episodes easy to understand and characters were to wear modern dresses, for the believers to more easily identify themselves with the stories.
New languages and new techniques emerged too. However, unfortunately, they have not been presented at the exhibition. The diagnostic surveys mentioned are mostly dated and are not displayed. Art-Test, instead, herewith offers you a detail of the reflectography, made on another occasion, of the altarpiece, also present at the exhibition, “Lamentation on Dead Christ” by Pietro Candido (Pieter de Witte, Bruges 1548 – Munich 1628), ante 1586, oil on table, cm 298.5 x 183. Volterra, Pinacoteca and Civic Museum. A splendid and visionary work of an artist born in Flanders, formed in Florence, active in Volterra, and finally famous in Munich at the service of the Duke of Bavaria. Very little underdrawing, very much reworking. Remarkable, isn’it?
If you are interested in the underdrawing of the whole painting, or any other reflectographic investigation we performed, do not hesitate to contact us to check availability and cost.
Art and Science are close in many ways. “Elegance from the East, insights from old porcelain” (Indianapolis Museum of Art, till 22nd October) explores the popularity and variety of Chinese porcelain objects made for export to Western consumers in the 17th and 18th centuries. Chinese artists customized their traditional forms and decoration for European and American commercial tastes. This exhibition reveals the effects of these efforts to translate consumer demand from half a world away.
Like “Chemistry of Color” and “What Lies Beneath”, also on view, this exhibition relates science to art. Guest curator Shirley M. Mueller, MD, connects the past to the present and illustrates, through neuropsychological insights, the similarity of human feeling and motivation across time.
From June 15th to August 10th, the PALP (Palazzo Pretorio di Pontedera) will host the exhibition “Goya and Guido Reni. Art Treasures at the Palp”. Two intense self-portraits of Goya, one of 1771 and the other of 1782 will be shown to the public after years of specialist study, accompanied by the diagnostic campaign conducted by Art-Test. The scientific data will be given great relevance and the results will be exposed to the audience who will so be invited to participate in the discovery of these intriguing works of art.
These works, after this Tuscan preview, will be exhibited, together with other paintings of the Spanish genius, in 2018 in St. Petersburg at the Hermitage Museum. In Pontedera, the two portraits will also be joined by a painting by Guido Reni, “Susanna and the Oldies”, that belongs to the artist’s mature age.
The exhibition is promoted by the Pontedera Culture Foundation
(http://www.pontederaperlacultura.it/la-fondazione/ or https://www.facebook.com/PontederaperlaCultura/) and the municipality of Pontedera.
An opportunity not to let go!
As usual by this time of the year, AIAr organizes a new edition of “Scienza e’ Arte”. And Art-Test takes part in one of the events. This time we will be in Paestum!
The museum of the Archaeological Park hosted a particularly interesting exhibition entitled “Possession”. During the exhibition, AiAr, with its institutional partners and the companies in its network (among which Art-Test), has promoted a diagnostic campaign on numerous finds.
Next 2nd December, in Paestum, at the Museum of the Archaeological Park, a workshop will be held on the topic of possess, robbery and antique art, and the assessments which are possible via archaeometric techniques: Possessione. Trafugamenti e falsi di antichità a Paestum. Le indagini archeometriche.
Art-Test will present, together with the Florentine colleagues of ICVBC-CNR, the scientific data emerging from the analysis of a tomb that was stolen from the Archaeological Park and returned to the museum a few years ago, following a police action in switzerland
.Join us and discover beautiful and hidden treasures!
The wonderful “Female Head” of Leonardo, also known as “Scapigliata” or “Lady of disheveled hair” preserved at the National Gallery of Parma, represented for Leonardo da Vinci a sort of manifesto of his status of excellent painter and, at the same time, a sort of a safe-conduct for his habit of not finishing his paintings, according to the latest research of Carmen Bambach, published on the occasion of the extremely intersting exhibition “Unfinished” at the MET of New York. In fact, it would seem that Leonardo wanted to compare himself with Apelles of Kos, the legendary ancient Greek painter. In a book that Leonardo is known to have owned, Pliny wrote that the Apelles had worked on a Venus without being able to bring it to completion, remaining however, despite this “failure”, the greatest painter ever existed, and rather “inventing” the “unfinished” genre.
Art-Test has performed investigations on the Scapigliata at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) of New York, to evaluate its conservation status before its transfer to Paris, for the exhibition “Leonardo in France – The Master and his Pupils 500 years after crossing the Alps. 1516-2016”, open at the Italian Embassy till November 20, 2016.
Art-Test has also performed analysis on two other of the most important paintings on display in Paris: the “Saint John” of Salaì of the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana of Milan and the “Salvator Mundi” (or “Head of Christ”) also currently generally attributed to his favorite assistant and friend Salaì but by other eminent scholars reputed of being by the hand of Leonardo himself.
The reflectographies of these great artworks, together with many other diagnostic images are published with considerable size and quality in the catalogue of the exhibition.
Carlo Dolci a patient technique
Carlo Dolci, said Carlino, a beloved and acclaimed artist by the critics of his time, considered the greatest Florentine painter of the seventeenth century, contended by European nobility (although he almost never left the Tuscan territory), is now back in the spotlight thanks to the monographic exhibition running until November 15 at the Galleria Palatina of Palazzo Pitti in Florence. The exhibition brings together works from numerous European museums: the British Museum in London, the Musée du Louvre in Paris, the Staatliche Museen in Berlin, the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm, the Cleveland Museum of Art in Cleveland, the Alte Pinakothek of Monaco Bavaria, the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, theAshmolean Museum in Oxford, the Burghley House in Stamford, the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Brest, the Thyssen Bornemisza Museum in Madrid and the British Royal Collection, reflecting the international scope of his works.
Interior of the exhibition ” Io, Carlo Dolci “, Galleria Palatina, Palazzo Pitti, Florence
The exhibition brings together nearly 100 paintings, of which seventy of Dolci, and the remainings by his contemporaries, to facilitate comparisons and show connections, in a sort of compendium of his descriptive style, rigorous and meticulously attentive to detail, smooth, icy but sensual, which has been called “hyperrealist” before its time. His almost obsessive rendering of details is exemplary: from the soft and almost palpable fabrics of the robes, to the splendid jewels, which, quoting the biographer Filippo Baldinucci, were “imitated in such a gorgeous (and realistic) fashion, that, as much as one touched and retouched the canvas to make sure they were painted, the eye was left in doubt.”
This exhibition has been a precious opportunity to kick off a major campaign of restoration and overhaul of 33 works of the Master, also important for the study of the unique painting technique used, which involved innovative wits to reach the coveted mimesis. Moreover, radiographic analyses have allowed to add completely unexpected insights to the knowledge also of well-known paintings of Dolci’s catalogue, such as in the case of the diagnostic tests on the “Madonna with Child” of the Palatine Gallery (performed by Art-Test, not yet published), which revealed substantial changes to the composition.
“Madonna with the Child”, Carlo Dolci, Galleria Palatina, Palazzo Pitti, Florence