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Sacred Art Exhibitions

Jacopo della Quercia guest of Ripatransone: traces of Tuscan sculpture between Emilia and Marche.

Jacopo della Quercia guest of Ripatransone: traces of Tuscan sculpture between Emilia and Marche. Ripatransone, June 28 – September 14, 2008

The exhibition was born from a cultural exchange between the city of Ferrara and the Sistine Museums of the Piceno in view of the loan of the Reliquary of Montalto to the Cosmè Tura and Francesco del Cossa exhibition. The art of Ferrara during the age of Borso d’Este at the Palazzo dei Diamanti or “Palace of Diamonds” from September 23, 2007 to January 6, 2008, the Sistine Museums were able to host the Madonna of the Pomegranate of Jacopo della Quercia (Siena, 1370 circa – 1438) in the city of Ripatransone, care of the Museo della Cattedrale di Ferrara.

The work, realized in 1407, is considered to be one of the masterpieces of the great Tuscan sculptor, whose rare expressive strength would pave the way for the genius Michelangelo, who admired and studied the work.

The opportunity to admire the work outside its historical site made it possible to exhibit beside it a small but important group of sculptures in stone, wood and terracotta, allowing one to retrace some aspects of Tuscan sculpture in Adriatic Italy over the course of the fifteenth century.

Among the fifteen works in the catalogue, there is a warrior Saint in stone, coming from a private collection and an Annunciation to Mary in wood, both attributed to the hand of Jacopo della Quercia together with Saint Catherine of Siena and Saint John the Baptist, works by artists very close to the maestro, as well as a splendid Madonna and Child in stone by Bartolomeo Bon, a Venetian sculptor who was profoundly influenced by Jacopo della Quercia. In addition to the Annunciation of Sant’Angelo in Vado that previously was attributed to Lorenzo Ghiberti, author of the famous door to Paradise in the baptistery of Florence, two splendid Madonnas in papier mâché from the workshop of Antonio Rossellino can be admired.

Then there is also a superb and little known Madonna in terracotta by Nanni di Bartolo, the artist who created the elaborate door of the basilica of Saint Nicholas in Tolentino. The exhibition concludes with a reconstruction of the great altarpiece in terracotta behind glass that Brother Mattia della Robbia, an epigone of the famous Florentine dynasty, left at Ripatransone as a seal of a continuous and well-established relationship between the two regions.

 

Sacred Woods, Sculptures by Fabriano and the Marca Picena Sacred Woods, Sculptures by Fabriano and the Marca Picena

Montalto Marche, April 22 – September 17, 2006

The exhibition, set up at the Museo Sistino di Montalto along the normal tour, was the result of complex research. As pointed out in the catalogue (opening with an essay by Alessandro Marchi with writings of don Vincenzo Catani, Paola Di Girolami, and from critiques compiled by Gabriele Barucca, Claudia Caldari, Paola Di Girolami, Giampiero Donnini, Alessandro Marchi, Cristiano Marchigiani, Benedetta Montevecchi and Massimo Papetti), the exhibition is prevalently made up of wooden sculptures as well as paintings and gold works present in the territory. The aim was to make known and valorize the often-unpublished creations, located in places that are difficult to access and that have been restored.

Among the over 35 pieces on display, there is a rare Christ wrapped in a tunic from Force, and the wooden group of the Adoration of the Magi conserved at the Archbishopric of Fabriano. For the first time this piece is compared with the Madonna and Christ child of the Salander-O’Reilly collection of New York, which is set in the same environment of the Magi beside the Madonna of Humility by Francescuccio Ghissi and kept at Montegiorgio that makes up in some way the equivalent pictorial of the group. The exhibition also includes the San Sebastiano di Tofe of Montemonaco, attributed to the workshop of Domenico Indivini di Sanseverino; the San Bartolomeo di Foce; the Sant’Alessio di Monsampolo; the bust of Saint James of the Marches, dated 1615, that was done by an anonymous Neapolitan of the seventeenth century that can be seen in the Sanctuary of Santa Maria delle Grazie di Monteprandone; the Guardian Angel from the mid-seventeenth century that comes from Montemonaco and the expressive Saint Cajetan di Thiene of Ascoli, sculpted from the design of Lazzaro Giosafatti (XVIII century).

 

From Paris to Montalto. Masterpieces from the Louvre and Cluny museumsFrom Paris to Montalto. Masterpieces from the Louvre and Cluny museums

Montalto Marche, March 27 – July 18, 2004

The exhibition originates from a loan request of the Sistine reliquary by the Louvre Museum on the occasion of the Paris 1400 exhibition: the arts at the time of Charles VI (Paris, Musée du Louvre, March 22 – July 12, 2004). The event allowed Montalto to exhibit three extraordinary works that are strongly tied to the Marche territory that were displaced over the course of the nineteenth century following the breaking up of prestigious private collections. The works include a tablet depicting Christ deposed and held up by angels by Carlo Crivelli; a Madonna del Soccorso by the Monterubbianese painter Giovanni Pagani, father of the well-known Vincenzo; and a processional cross by the Ascolan goldsmith Pietro Vannini considered by Bertaux “among the greatest goldsmiths of the Renaissance.” The first two are conserved in the Louvre Museum; the third is exhibited in the Musée national du Moyen Age in Cluny.

For the first time after more than a century and a half, these little-known, small masterpieces not sufficiently considered by critics until just recently, have returned to where they were created, revealing the greatness of their craftsmen beyond the Marche horizons.

From the pages of the catalogue, compiled by Alessandro Marchi, Benedetta Montevecchi, Walter Scotucci and Paola Pierangelini, not only does an updated synthesis of the recent writings emerge, but also there arises new critical considerations destined to clear up important aspects of the art in the region.

 

 

 

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