Exposition : « Lorenzo Lotto il richiamo delle marche » , Macerata, Palazzo Buonaccorsi – Musei Civici, du 19 octobre 2018 au 10 février 2019
2018 brings one of the most fascinating artists of the Renaissance back into the international spotlight, with events in Spain, in the United kingdom, and in Italy. In the Marche region, a major two-track exhibition leads from Macerata, where the works linked to this land, but scattered around Europe, go back to Lotto’s masterpieces wich are preserved in the territory.
Among villages hills and sea.
Lorenzo Lotto goes back to being protagonist in the Marche region, his chosen land, in a very special year. In fact, 2018 has internationally put the spotlight on him. He is now at the heart of an appreciated exhibition which is dedicated to his portraits in two of the most important museums in the world: the Prado Museum in Madrid, where the exhibition ended last 30th September, and the National Gallery in London, where the exhibition will open next November.
The Marche region could not miss this “unpredicted” year, since its land has been an essential landmark for Lotto’s life and training.
In the autumn and winter 2018, concurrently with the two exhibitions in the prestigious Institutions in London and Madrid, and in collaboration with the State Hermitage Museum, this land becomes scene of an exhibition and of collateral and extremely valuable initiatives. Promoted by the Marche Region along with Macerata Municipality, they will let the public rediscover the extraordinary heritage left by Lotto, in a region that is unique in terms of quantity and quality of Lotto’s works.
In the meantime, the public will be able to understand the deep bond linking the Venetian Master to this land, where he kept going back to create and be inspired. He chose to die and be buried here.
From the 19th October 2018 to the 20th February 2019, Palazzo Buonaccorsi, where Macerata Civic Museum is, will host a big and unusual exhibition, organised by Villaggio Globale International. It will gather for the first time all Lotto’s pieces: the ones that have been created for the territory and then scattered around the world, and those that have had a strong tie with the Marches for history and realisation.
It is a research exhibition, which is somehow experimental and wants to combine expositive power, follow-up multimedia supports, great masterpieces, but also sparks for research and critical discussion.
It is a valuable exhibition. It reveals to the public some unpublished documents about the artist’s work and some pieces which have never been exhibited before. Among all, there is the “Venus dressed up by the Graces”, part of a private collection. It was publicized by Zampetti in 1957 but stayed in the dark for seven decades. It’s one of the most striking novelties of the exhibition! This exhibition necessarily ends up in the Marche region, setting itself in close dialogue with Lotto’s works (25 pieces), which are scattered in the different museums and intentionally left in the institutions of belonging.
Along with Macerata, the cities and towns of Ancona, Cingoli, Jesi, Loreto, Mogliano, Monte San Giusto, Recanati, and Urbino shape a scattered exhibition to be experienced within the stunning artistic and natural heritage of the Marches. The last tragic earthquake that hit the centre of Italy has wounded the region, which is tenaciously aiming to enhance its immense heritage.
Enrico Maria Dal Pozzolo, one of the leading experts on the artist and co-curator of the exhibitions in Madrid and London, is curating this exhibition, in collaboration with many scholars from the Marches. The exhibition will show more than 20 authentic paintings and 7 drawings by Lotto, and some extraordinary graphic works by great artists, such as Dürer and Mantegna, who inspired Lotto. To contextualize his works in this land, the exhibition will show some valuable manuscripts and volumes, globes and ancient maps.
Palazzo Buonaccorsi, at the heart of Macerata, will gather for the occasion Lotto’s pieces from international collections, such as the Gemaldegalerie of the Berlin State Museum, the British Museums in London, the Louvre Museum in Paris, the Brukental National Museum in Sibiu, the Prado Museum in Madrid and the Strasbourg Fine Arts Museum, but also the Poldi Pezzoli Museum in Milan, the Correr Museum in Venice, and the Quirinale Collections.
For the first time in Italy, “Saint Christopher” and “Saint Sebastian” are shown. It deals with two panels of a missing polyptych that Lotto painted for the Church of Castelplanio, a small town not far from Jesi. Between 1819 and 1821, Prussia acquired the works from the English merchant Edward Solly. They have been restored at the Getty Museum: they revealed some parts that were hidden by the frame showing a sublime and thorough painting of Saint Sebastian’s naked body, which is very rare in Lotto’s works.
Two of the essential works by Lotto arrives from the Hermitage Museum of Saint Peterburg. One of them is “Christ leads the Apostles to the Mount Tabor” (1511-1512), predella of the stunning “Pala di Recanati” that can be admired in Recanati, the close Leopardi’s birthplace. The “Sacred Conversation” arrives from the Uffizi Galleries and will be exhibited for the first time after an exceptional restoration. It dates back to 1534, when Lotto was surely in the Marches. The stunning and unexpected shade of the painting and its complex iconography confirm the greatness of this artist, who is able to enchant with his “magic vibrations of light. This melancholic and agitated painter was not adequately appreciated in life, but since the end of the ‘800s critics has considered him one of the major painters of the XVI century.
In Palazzo Buonaccorsi, where the public can admire its magnificent baroque decorations, Lotto’s experience in the Marches is recomposed. Some “linking” works integrate it, but the territorial bond is neither documented nor excluded. In such a manner, Lotto’s artistic evolution can be shaped. On the other hand, the cross references to many artworks of the territory are suggested by the instructional material and some videos specifically produced by Land Communication, along with the documentary directed by Luca Criscenti (which was presented in Madrid and London as well). It closes the exhibition by inviting the visitors to go visit villages and hills in Lotto’s footsteps.
There’s just one exception: the touching presence of the big fresco, which has been detached and assembled on the canvas of “Saint Vincent Ferrer in Gloria” (1510-1512 ca). It is the only fresco to be known in the Marches. It was in the Church of Saint Domenico in Recanati, which was made condemned after the severe earthquake, so it has not been possible to admire the painting for a long time. It is now exhibited for this occasion, thanks to the collaboration with the local diocese. In the end, there is a provocation to create clarity around this issue and in the minds of everyone who could help. The last exhibited work is the empty frame of the prominent “Madonna of Osimo”, painted by Lorenzo around the ‘30s of the XVI century and stolen from the Church of minor friars in 1911, the same year as the notorious theft of the Mona Lisa.
As opposed to Leonardo’s masterpiece, Lotto’s painting was never retrieved. It wounded the regional heritage, a wound yet to be healed.