Big news at the Pinacoteca Nazionale in Ferrara and the Galleria Estense in Modena. Brand new layouts and major exhibitions

From mid-December 2018, the Pinacoteca Nazionale in Ferrara and the Galleria Estense in Modena will present themselves to the public with new layouts and important exhibitions.

Big news coming to the Gallerie Estensi, namely the Galleria Estense in Modena and the Pinacoteca Nazionale in Ferrara. As of December 13, 2018, the National Picture Gallery of Ferrara in the Palazzo dei Diamanti offers the public ten entirely renovated rooms and presents itself with two exceptional guests, temporarily on loan at the museum: the table of the muse Polymnia, arriving from the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin, and the Bible of Borso d’Este, one of the most famous Renaissance manuscripts in the world, from the Biblioteca Estense Universitaria in Modena. This completes the work of technological adaptation and museographic updating begun in 2016 with the rearrangement of the exhibition spaces dedicated to altarpieces from the first half of the 16th century and culminating with the Costabili polyptych by Garofalo and Dosso Dossi.

Works by Gentile da Fabriano, Mantegna, Cosmè Tura, and Ercole de’ Roberti now return to public view, in an exhibition itinerary that will lead visitors through the vicissitudes of Ferrara painting from the fourteenth to the eighteenth centuries. An exhaustive system of information apparatus, including graphic reconstructions of dispersed complexes, will suggest a new reading of the collecting history, the original function and evolution of types of works such as the altarpiece. New attention will also be paid to seventeenth- and eighteenth-century painting, for which four rooms are reserved, adding to the one dedicated to the large canvases by Scarsellino and Bononi inaugurated in the fall of 2016.

Public enjoyment will be improved thanks to modern air conditioning, lighting and security systems, which now guarantee in all the museum’s rooms, as well as in the storerooms, compliance with international standards of conservation of the works. A new articulation of spaces and colors on the walls will allow a clearer and more aesthetically pleasing presentation of the paintings.

The rearrangement works also involved a new room dedicated to Belfiore’s studiolo. Here, from December 13, 2018 to April 22, 2019, the exhibition Parallel Yards. Belfiore’s studiolo and Borso’s Bible. 1447-1463, curated by Marcello Toffanello, which, as anticipated, will welcome two special guests: on the one hand, the panel depicting the muse Polyhymnia, from the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin, which is reunited with the Erato and Urania of the Palazzo dei Diamanti with which it formed part of the pictorial decoration of this room first commissioned by Leonello d’Este in the mid-15th century as a place dedicated to meditation and intellectual pleasures. The exhibition will also offer the unmissable opportunity to admire alongside the paintings of theFerrara Workshop, a masterpiece that belongs to the city’s historical and artistic heritage, now preserved at the Biblioteca Estense in Modena. It is the Bible of Borso d’Este whose illustration, created by a team of illuminators led by Taddeo Crivelli and Franco dei Russi, constituted the other artistic workshop in which, in those same years, the style of the Ferrara Renaissance school was forged.

A selection of Renaissance medals, coins and ancient gems from the collections of the Galleria Estense in Modena will recall how the studiolo was also a place dedicated to the accumulation and display of early humanist collections. Finally, two touch screens will allow visitors to virtually flip through the pages of the precious Bible and visit the studiolo while admiring and questioning the mysterious muses who inhabited it.

Moving on to the Estense Gallery in Modena, from Dec. 14, it reopens the entire tour route with some important innovations and offers an exhibition with a selection of medals and coins from the Estense Collection. This is a development of what was anticipated with the post-earthquake opening in 2015. The exhibition route begins with a new room entirely dedicated to the display of important Etruscan and Egyptian artifacts presented here for the first time after extensive restoration. The novelties continue with a room dedicated to courtly culture that will emphasize the global scope of the Este court: European ivories, enamels, and manuscripts will be displayed alongside Islamic and Oriental artifacts. The adjoining room, on the other hand, will tell the story of the relationship between the Renaissance and classical antiquity, showing alongside Renaissance works the ancient ones that were their inspiration.

The presence of Correggio’s Night, the masterpiece that perhaps gave most luster to the Gallery of the Dukes of Modena, will also be evoked through the valuable copy made in Venice at the time the original was sold to Augustus of Saxony. New museographic apparatus will make possible, in scientific rigor, a clear, accessible and aesthetically striking presentation. The entire museum will have a new state-of-the-art lighting system, and several rooms will offer visitors a completely renewed perspective . To mark the occasion, from December 14, 2018 to March 31, 2019, the exhibition Metal Gallery. Portraits and Feats from the Este Medagliere, curated by Federico Fischetti and Giulia Zaccariotto, which will present a thematic selection of medals and coins from the Este Collection and related works, including engraved gems, drawings, printed volumes and working tools such as stipes, casts repertoires, coinage and punches. The exhibition comes at the conclusion of a work of reorganization, cataloging, restoration and digitization of the Estense Gallery’s collection of 2,400 medals and plaques, initiated in 2016 and implemented in collaboration with the Memofonte Foundation of Florence. The exhibition itinerary, which will also feature some important external loans, will illustrate the birth and development of this peculiar artistic genre, from the Renaissance masterpieces of Pisanello to the virtuosities of the Baroque and Neoclassical ages. A scholarly catalog published by Franco Cosimo Panini accompanies the exhibition.

Image: Bible of Borso d’Este, bas-de-page of the initial map of Ecclesiastes, The Court of King Solomon (vol. I, c. 280v.; Modena, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria)

Big news at the Pinacoteca Nazionale in Ferrara and the Galleria Estense in Modena. Brand new layouts and major exhibitions
Big news at the Pinacoteca Nazionale in Ferrara and the Galleria Estense in Modena. Brand new layouts and major exhibitions

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