This exhibition features 120 works of art that tell the bright parable of Genoa that spans 150 years
From her kitchen, where she is plucking a large goose, Bernardo Strozzi’s cook winks at Marquise Elena Grimaldi Cattaneo surprised by Van Dyck under a parasol supported by a Moorish servant. Not far away, Pieter Paul Rubens’ monumental portrait of thirty-year-old Giovan Carlo Doria gives a triumphant welcome to the public with the proud gaze of the “pater patriae”.
These are just some of the intense, multifaceted faces of the Genoese baroque, protagonist of the exhibition.
A cosmopolitan and composite Baroque, like the Roman one, but compared to the latter more private, it makes room among the 120 works of the itinerary curated by Piero Boccardo, Jonathan Bober and Franco Boggero, brought to Rome from important international and private collections to tell the luminous parable of Genoa, that golden age which, from the arrival in the city of Pieter Paul Rubens, extends to the creations of Alessandro Magnasco.
The lady of the sea, “superb for men and for walls”, as Petrarch had defined Genoa, one of the most flourishing economic capitals of Europe, between the beginning of the seventeenth century and the middle of the following century lived through one of the most formidable events in artistic history. This is due to the financial but also the artistic investments of his farsighted families. It was they who assigned artistic commissions for the construction of churches, precious palaces, lively fresco cycles, paintings, silverware, and sumptuous statues of marble, silver, and terracotta.
The choral project, organized by the Scuderie del Quirinale and the National Gallery of Art in Washington with the special collaboration of the Municipality and the museums of Genoa, begins with the story of the political, social and economic history of the Ligurian city and culminates in its artistic history. In the flourishing Republic, talents converge with their eyes wide open to the new coming from outside. The diversity of the artistic currents in Genoa of those years, each with its own autonomy, is reflected in the varied path of the exhibition which welcomes a surprising variety of arts, from embroidery to bronze, from terracotta to marble, from silver to painting.
If marble – of which Genoa since the Middle Ages has represented a knot for trade and processing – rejoices in the Rape of Elena by the French sculptor Pierre Puget of the Sant’Agostino Museum, silver triumphs in the Immaculate Madonna by Genoese silversmith, in the Versatoio with History of Orazio Coclite by Giovanni Aelbosca Belga, while all the delicacy of terracotta is contained in Pierre Puget’s San Sebastiano.
What is most striking about this exhibition with its airy, linear layout, which leaves nothing to chance, is the intense presence of pink that seem to come to life as soon as the visitor enters the rooms, from that of Paola Adorno Brignole- Salt by Van Dick, young but tragically destined to fade, like the rose that a woman holds in her hands, to the imperturbable one of Anassarco portrayed by Domenico Fiasella, or to the drunk one of Noah by Giovan Andrea De Ferrari.
In addition to the prestige this exhibition brings for Rome from the extraordinary selection of works of art from the museums of the Municipality and the State, the Diocesan Museum and that of the Accademia Ligustica, the city of Genoa also participates in the Superbarocco project by hosting an exhibition until July 10th at Ducal Palace. The route, entitled The Shape of Wonder: Masterpieces in Genoa between 1600 and 1750, is accompanied by a series of initiatives united under the title “The Protagonists”, set up at the same time as the Palazzo Ducale exhibition in various museums and city palaces and dedicated to various artistic personalities.
For the occasion of the two “sister” exhibitions set up in Rome and Genoa, the historic Arlecchino train, a jewel of the State Railways, will connect the two cities in the name of great art.
Until July 3rd 2022
Scuderie del Quirinale
Via Ventiquattro Maggio, 16
Mon-Sun 10am-8pm (last entrance 7pm)
Full € 15,00
Reduced € 13,00