Monday, 17 August 2015

"Vittoria Colonna and Michelangelo - The Memory and the Face(t)" Exhibition

Time ago I was lucky enough to manage to visit this tiny yet interesting exhibition set in the Library of Archeology and History of Art, placed in the building that once was the Collegio Romano.
I'm always been fascinated by the figure of Vittoria Colonna, and her relationship with Michelangelo is definitely worth a note.
This exhibition was originally proposed on 2014 in the city of Vasto, residence of the D'Avalos family and consequently of Vittoria.

It shows 40 rare and precious prints dedicated to the two historical figures, their circle of friends, the philosophy developed in their intellectual circle.
The exhibition was divided in "Stanze" ("Rooms"), referring to the Reinassance word for "Chapters".
It included prints of the residences of the two, with an accent for the city of Rome (I had no idea that Michelangelo was hosted by Jacopo Galli, a banker of Rome associated with Cardinal Raffaele Riario!), the characters that gravitated around them (from Fernando D'Avalos, Vittoria's unlucky husband, to Giorgio Vasari, the "biographer" of Michelangelo, passing through Reginald Pole and Giulia Gonzaga) and their "iconography": Michelangelo, the tormented artist, and Vittoria, a mix of popular Roman beauty and almost divine muse.

It's been an interesting exhibition, dedicated to these important yet obscure persons, something that in the end came out as some "spice" on a troubled and chaotic historical period of religious and intellectual ferment.

A few words and pictures of the beautiful monumental library, that one of the guardians of the reading hall let me visit; originally, it belonged to the above mentioned Collegio Romano, the Jesuit University founded by Loyola, later on they became part of the Biblioteca Nazionale di Roma (dedicated to King Victor Emmanuel II).

The exhibition was set in the reading hall of the Sala Crociera; the fresco dedicated to Virgin Mary was recently restored: during its use as Biblioteca Nazionale, it was covered by a coat of arms of the Savoia family.

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