20 Feb 2024

Francesco De Grandi at Museo Diocesano in Milan

From 20 February to 11 May 2024, the Carlo Maria Martini Diocesan Museum of Milan hosts il "Compianto sul Cristo morto" by Giovanni Bellini (Venice circa 1435 – 1516), one of the Venetian master's masterpieces, preserved in the Vatican Museums.

The exhibition, curated by Nadia Righi, director of the Diocesan Museum of Milan, and Fabrizio Biferali, curator of the Department for the Art of the 15th-16th centuries of the Vatican Museums, Main sponsor Gruppo Unipol, sponsor BPER, presents the precious panel, created by Bellini around 1475, which originally constituted the coping for the altarpiece of the main altar of the church of San Francesco in Pesaro. It is one of the greatest masterpieces of Italian painting, which marks the painter's maturity and marks his role as the leader of Venetian painting.

The scene depicts the moment in which the body of Christ, before burial, is mourned and anointed with perfumed oils. In a narrow and compressed space, rendered with a strongly foreshortened cut from bottom to top which takes into account the height at which the panel must have been located, the statuary presence of the four characters stands out: Christ, Joseph of Arimathea, Nicodemus and the Magdalene, holding that of Jesus in her hands.
It is precisely the extraordinary intertwining of hands that constitutes the focal point of the representation: the spectator's gaze converges there thanks to Bellini's masterful orchestration which, with a clear and clear light and a clear alternation between light and dark, guides the eye through the Christ's legs abandoned on the tomb with the wound in his side and it is there that all the gazes of the characters are also concentrated.
In the background, a blue sky reveals the artist's new openness towards nature and the atmospheric rendering of the landscape and, in this work, appears as a sign of hope.

The exhibition is completed with a section entitled Davanti a Bellini. Four contemporary artists in dialogue with a masterpiece, created in collaboration with Casa Testori and curated by Giuseppe Frangi, president of the Giovanni Testori Association, which presents the works of four contemporary authors - LETIA Letizia Cariello, Emma Ciceri, Francesco De Grandi and Andrea Mastrovito - who compared themselves with Bellini's masterpiece, reflecting on the themes suggested by the work, to testify how the Venetian master's painting is able to touch the hearts of artists of our time: the Lamentation is in fact a masterpiece that goes beyond its historical dimension , and which stimulates the sensitivity of contemporary man in the face of death, pain, pity and in particular the value of care.
The route winds through four distinct spaces where, in sequence, the visitor will find Per te Myriam by Migdel, an installation by LETIA Letizia Cariello dedicated to the figure of the Magdalene. Following, Andrea Mastrovito with the great frottage War Christ offers a dramatic update of Bellini's theme; Emma Ciceri, in the very delicate video Studio di mani, rereads the central motif of Bellini's Lamentation in personal terms; Francesco De Grandi reinterprets the iconography of the Lamentation in contemporary terms with a large canvas.

Catalog Dario Cimorelli Editore.

Milan, January 2024

Giovanni Bellini. Il Compianto from the Vatican Museums
Four contemporary artists in dialogue with a masterpiece
Milan, Carlo Maria Martini Diocesan Museum
February 20 - May 11, 2024

Hours: Tuesday - Sunday, 10.00am - 6.00pm
Last entry 5.30pm
Monday closed

Full price: €9.00
Reduced: €7.00
Schools and oratories: €4.00

Information: T +39 02 89420019; www.chiostrisanteustorgio.it