Ferrara's MEIS analyzes dialogue between Jewish and Christian cultures

Ferrara's MEIS is hosting the exhibition The Renaissance Speaks Jewish from April 12 to September 15, 2019.

From April 12 to September 15, 2019, an exhibition entitled Il Rinascimento parla ebraico (The Renaissance Speaks Jewish), curated by Giulio Busi and Silvana Greco, will be hosted at the MEIS in Ferrara. The exhibition aims to analyze an important aspect of Italy’s cultural history: the presence of Jews and the cultural dialogue with Christian culture.

Masterpieces such as Andrea Mantegna’s Holy Family and the Family of the Baptist (1504-1506), Vittore Carpaccio ’s Birth of the Virgin (1502-1507) and Ludovico Mazzolino’s Dispute of Jesus with the Doctors of the Temple (1519-1525), Elijah and Elisha by Sassetta, where significant Hebrew inscriptions appear, will be on display. Hebrew illuminated manuscripts, of Renaissance style and richness, such as Maimonides’ Guide to the Perplexed (1349), the oldest woodenHoly Ark in Italy, never before returned from Paris, or the Torah Scroll of Biella, a very old scroll of the Hebrew Bible, still used in synagogal liturgy.

In the Renaissance, Jews were present and active in Florence, Ferrara, Mantua, Venice, Genoa, Pisa, Naples, Palermo and, of course, Rome. The MEIS recounts this rich and complex confrontation for the first time, thanks in part to the engaging set design conceived by the designers of the Brescia-based GTRF studio.

Analyzing this dialogue means recognizing the connection of Italian culture with Judaism and exploring the Jewish assumptions of Renaissance civilization. It also means recognizing that this interpenetration also involved intolerance, social exclusion and violence. Through this exhibition, the National Museum of Italian Judaism and the Shoah in Ferrara wants to constitute a further chapter in the narrative of Italian Judaism (after the one on the first thousand years, now transformed into the first part of the permanent itinerary) and to bear witness to the complex but possible and sometimes fruitful dialogue between minority and majority.

The exhibition is organized by MEIS, under the patronage of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities, the Emilia-Romagna Region, the Municipality of Ferrara and the Union of Italian Jewish Communities - UCEI.

For info: www.meisweb.it

Hours: Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Tickets: Full 10 euros, reduced 8 euros. Free for children under 6.

Image: Andrea Mantegna, The Holy Family and Family of the Baptist (Mantua, Basilica of Sant’Andrea, Mantua. Diocese of Mantua- Ph. Antonio Lodigiani)

Ferrara's MEIS analyzes dialogue between Jewish and Christian cultures
Ferrara's MEIS analyzes dialogue between Jewish and Christian cultures

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