Orazio Gentileschi and Caravaggism in the Marche featured in an exhibition in Fabriano

From August 2 to December 8, 2019, Fabriano's Pinacoteca Civica will host the exhibition 'Light and Silences: Orazio Gentileschi and Caravaggio's Painting in the Marche in the Seventeenth Century'

From Aug. 2 to Dec. 8, 2019, the Pinacoteca Civica “Bruno Molajoli” in Fabriano (Ancona) is hosting the exhibition La luce e i silenzi: Orazio Gentileschi e la pittura caravaggesca nelle Marche del Seicento, entirely dedicated to the Marche activity of Orazio Gentileschi (Pisa, 1563 - London, 1639), one of the greatest Caravaggio painters, and curated by Anna Maria Ambrosini Massari and Alessandro Delpriori. The exhibition brings together the works Gentileschi produced in the Marche region, in Ancona (1606-1607) and Fabriano (1613-1619): these include masterpieces such as the Circumcision, the Virgin of the Rosary, the Vision of St. Francesca Romana, and Magdalene. Gentileschi’s works are set against a group of works by great artists of the seventeenth century, including a Caravaggesque from the Marche region, Giovanni Francesco Guerrieri, and other great protagonists of the time such as Guido Cagnacci, Simon Vouet, Valentin de Boulogne, Alessandro Turchi, and Giovanni Baglione.

The exhibition then extends to the Cathedral of San Venanzio, where it is possible to admire the Crucifixion, and the Church of San Benedetto: these are rich contexts that are an integral part of the project and the exhibition itinerary and reflect, to different degrees, the Caravaggesque conversion of the artist. The latter represents a focal theme of the exhibition: this is the first time in which the terms of Orazio Gentileschi’s presence in the Marche region, a land where Caravaggio (Milan, 1571 - Porto Ercole, 1610) is conspicuously absent in terms of works, albeit documented, but is conversely very present in the legacy of Gentileschi and companions. The Fabriano exhibition, thanks in part to new features concerning both works and documents, some of which are announced by the curators as “surprising” (both with regard to Gentileschi and other protagonists) then wants to broaden the survey of the territory to shed light on the encounters, crossings and incidences of the many artists who, in the “Caravaggio radius,” spread its disruptive novelty in the Marche region. Among the most interesting novelties, which is due to a young researcher from the Marche region (from Sassoferrato), Lucia Panetti, is the identification of the face of Artemisia Gentileschi (Rome, 1593 - Naples, 1654), the celebrated daughter of Orazio, who was also an artist, in the Saint Cecilia that appears in the Circumcision in Ancona (at the time the work was created, Artemisia was fourteen years old).

The exhibition is also an opportunity to bring together lofty pieces of Caravaggism in the Marche region, starting with the works of the Marche’s leading protagonist par excellence in the field, Giovanni Francesco Guerrieri (Fossombrone, 1589 - Pesaro, 1657) to whom is given special attention, almost an exhibition within the exhibition, and equal prominence will be given to the work of the Roman Giovanni Baglione (Rome, c. 1573 - 1643), who was a bitter enemy of Caravaggio but was greatly attracted to his style and the innovations he introduced: Baglione was also very active in the Marche region. Remarkable and diverse are the presences that show the fatal influence of Merisi’s genius in this part of Italy as well: from Alessandro Turchi to Valentin de Boulogne, from Bartolomeo Manfredi to Antiveduto Gramatica, from Giovanni Serodine to Angelo Caroselli, and even Carlo Bononi, whose altarpiece made for the monastery of the Capuchin Poor Clares and now in Brera, will return to Fabriano for the first time after the Napoleonic spoliations of 1811. Again, the exhibition also aims to show how there were equally valuable presences among those who counterpointed the spread of Caravaggesque language, showing its impact but with a more classicist inflection, between Bologna and Rome, as in Giovanni Lanfranco, Simone Cantarini, Guido Cagnacci, Giuseppe Puglia, and Girolamo Buratti or in the debating of two souls and two epochs, as in Pomarancio, Andrea Lilli and Filippo Bellini.

Light and Silences: Orazio Gentileschi and Caravaggesque Painting in the Marche of the Seventeenth Century, whose scientific committee includes some of the leading scholars of the seventeenth century (among others, Gianni Papi, Daniele Benati, Raffaella Morselli and Keith Christiansen) wanted to establish a strong relationship with the territory and with Caravaggism that crossed the region. This is why the ties with the territory are strong: in fact, with the exhibition ticket, it will also be possible to visit until Nov. 3 another exhibition, underway in Camerino, From Dust to Light: Recovered Art, promoted by the Archdiocese of Camerino - San Severino Marche and the Municipality of Camerino and realized with the contribution of the Marche Region. The exhibition is set up partly in the Seminary Church, Camerino’s only accessible church, and partly in the adjacent “Venanzina Pennesi” equipped warehouse, which is open to the public for the occasion thanks to funding from the Soprintendenza Archeologia Belle Arti e Paesaggio delle Marche. It is a small but precious space where about thirty works have been housed and made usable, recovered thanks also to the Carabinieri of the Nucleo Tutela Beni Culturali and the Fire Brigade, who worked with tenacity and determination to save the works of art of the city of Camerino and the territory of the Archdiocese.

Returning instead to the Fabriano exhibit, the exhibition, organized by the Marche Region, the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities, the Municipality of Fabriano and Anci Marche, is part of the Mostrare le Marche project, which was born out of a memorandum of understanding between the Region, Mibac, Anci Marche, the Bishops’ Conference and the municipalities of Macerata, Ascoli Piceno, Fermo, Loreto, Matelica and Fabriano to promote knowledge and development of the territories affected by the 2016 earthquake. The exhibition is the latest in a cycle of five major exhibitions that have already covered the cities of Loreto, Macerata, Ascoli Piceno, Fermo, and Matelica. Now it is Fabriano and its territory to tell the story of another great artist, Orazio Gentileschi, who worked and stayed in the Marche region in the second decade of the 17th century. Fabriano, because of its location and history is universally recognized as a special and privileged observatory on artistic events that, starting in the Marche region, then had a much wider impact. After the exhibition on Gentile da Fabriano in 2006 and the prestigious recognition received from UNESCO, the city is hosting another major exhibition.

Opening hours: August and September from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., from October from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Closing day: Mondays. Tickets: full 5 euros, groups with more than 20 people 4 euros, school groups with more than 15 students 3 euros, over 65 4 euros, under 18 3 euros. Free for the disabled and accompanying persons, group leaders, journalists, children under six, residents of the City of Fabriano. For info, visit the Fabriano Art Gallery website.

Pictured: Orazio Gentileschi, Circumcision, detail (1607; oil on canvas; Ancona, Pinacoteca Civica “Francesco Podesti”)

Orazio Gentileschi and Caravaggism in the Marche featured in an exhibition in Fabriano
Orazio Gentileschi and Caravaggism in the Marche featured in an exhibition in Fabriano

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