Two precious works of the 15th century featured in an exhibition in Albenga

At the Diocesan Museum in Albenga, the exhibition "Regnavit a Ligno Deus" kicks off, featuring two important and valuable wooden works from the 15th century.

The Diocesan Museum of Albenga is hosting, from May 15 to September 15, 2021, the exhibition Regnavit a Ligno Deus. Two 15th-century sculptures compared in the Diocese of Albenga-Imperia, an exhibition celebrating the Ligurian institution’s 40th anniversary. The exhibition is the result of a collaboration with the Soprintendenza Archeologia, Belle Arti e Paesaggio for the provinces of Imperia and Savona and is realized with the contribution of the De Mari Foundation of Savona.

The stars of the exhibition are two precious and ancient works from the Diocese: a masterpiece of 15th-century art, the Lamentation over the Dead Christ, and the Crucifix from the Church of Charity in Alassio are on display at the Museum. The Lamentation is a precious “sacred representation” composed of polychrome wooden simulacra, first exhibited at the Church of the Magdalene and now kept at the Lazzaro Acquarone Museum in Lucinasco (Imperia). By an unknown author, the complex can be considered an “antecedent” of the cartelami, as it shares with them the theatricalization of the sacred fact that arouses the emotional involvement of the faithful. In fact, the guiding thread of the exhibition Regnavit a Ligno Deus will be the theme of the Passion of Christ: that is why the Compianto will be juxtaposed, in dialogue, with the crucifix from the Church of the Charity in Alassio, a coeval work of great intensity and recently restored, a fine example of wooden sculpture, among the most important in western Liguria. Art historian Francesca Bogliolo and restorer Giorgio Gavaldo collaborated on the exhibition.

“On May 15,” says Castore Sirimarco, director of the Cultural Assets Office of the Diocese of Albenga-Imperia, "the Diocesan Museum will celebrate its 40th anniversary since its opening, an occasion that the exhibition Regnavit a ligno Deus wants to celebrate as a hope of restart. In fact, the event will be followed by a second exhibition, this time spread throughout the diocesan territory, which will tell the story of the cartelami and will be curated by Alfonso Sista, of the Soprintendenza Archeologia, Belle Arti e Paesaggio for the provinces of Imperia and Savona, and Fr. Danilo Galliani. The exhibition will be a great opportunity for residents to discover, rediscover and appreciate in an increasingly conscious way the works of art and faith made and kept in the area, but also for tourists, who will be able to access spaces and works of unexpected and surprising beauty, entering into the spirit of the artistic production of western Liguria."

“The exhibition at the Diocesan Museum,” explains Don Emanuele Caccia, art historian, “has the role of highlighting a connection between medieval and Baroque rites centered on ephemeral apparatuses, the cartelami. These are scenographic apparatuses used for the worship of the Quarantore and for the ’sepulchres’ of Holy Week, numerous in Liguria but mostly unknown to the general public. A subsequent exhibition will be dedicated to them, which will come to life soon, will have a widespread character in the territory and will be part of a project with which Formae Lucis wants to present new paths of in-depth study of an artistic heritage with strong devotional values, little known and partly forgotten.”

The exhibition at the Diocesan Museum is in fact part of "Tremò la terra il ciel s’aperse. Viaggio con Dante tra i cartelami della Diocesi di Albenga-Imperia, a broader review by Formae Lucis that still sees the collaboration of the Soprintendenza Archeologia, Belle Arti e Paesaggio for the provinces of Imperia and Savona and that involves the artistic heritage of the Diocese of Albenga-Imperia, particularly ephemeral art. The project will have a threefold articulation along 2021: the exhibition at the Diocesan Museum in Albenga Regnavit a ligno Deus; the exhibition spread throughout the territory Pitture sui cartelami da illuminarsi la notte, which will come to life in June 2021; and finally Il gran teatro dei cartelami, a theatrical performance by Giorgia Brusco ’s company that will take place in the large cartelame set up in the church of San Matteo in Laigueglia on a date yet to be determined.

From May 15 the exhibition will be open to the public with, given the current regulatory measures, the following weekly hours: Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. On Saturdays and Sundays, it will be possible to visit the exhibition, the Diocesan Museum and the Early Christian Baptistery with a single ticket only by reservation (by Friday afternoon at 3478085811 during opening hours, or by emailing and for groups of at least five people, unless otherwise stipulated by the DPCM next May 17. Any further information on opening hours and modalities will be promptly communicated on the web and social channels of Formae Lucis and the Diocesan Museum.

In parallel with Regnavit a Ligno Deus, May 17 will also see the opening of E quindi uscimmo a riveder le stelle, an exhibition, set up at the Diocesan Library and curated by Valeria Moirano, which was created on the occasion of Dante’s seventh centenary and focuses on light and colors in the Divine Comedy. The exhibition will be held in the premises of the Bishop’s Seminary and will be open from May 17 to 22, from 3 to 6 p.m. Due to the health emergency from Covid-19 guided tours will be possible only by reservation, at 3668254229. The initiative is part of the Formae Lucis project and is in collaboration with a number of local schools.

“The exhibition dedicated to the posters and the theatrical event,” Sirimarco points out, “will be free admission, with the request for a free offering, the amount of which will be entirely donated to the restoration and conservation of the works on display. The valuable contribution of the De Mari Foundation has made this choice possible. On the other hand, the safety of the churches that are the scene of the exhibition on the posters will be guaranteed by the security project that the Diocese is carrying out thanks to the valuable contribution of the Italian Episcopal Conference.”

Formae Lucis is a project of the Diocese of Albenga-Imperia created to enhance and narrate the artistic heritage of the diocesan territory. Activities were inaugurated in October 2020. In addition to a website with a blog and several thematic columns, Formae Lucis has promoted a course on visual culture in collaboration with the University of Genoa and has produced in Calderara (Pieve di Teco, Im) the first of a series of videos dedicated to the artistic treasures of the territory. Finally, there are ongoing projects in collaboration with national entities.

Two precious works of the 15th century featured in an exhibition in Albenga
Two precious works of the 15th century featured in an exhibition in Albenga

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