Along with the Sacred and Profane exhibit visited and described in last week's article, Viterbo offers another niche art show-Immagini della Vergine- which is a perfect theme for the Christmas season. A dozen large sized paintings from churches and convents of the Diocese of Viterbo are exhibited together in the majestic Conclave hall of the ancient Papal Palace in Viterbo.
|blue boxes ..|
Many of the large paintings have been recently restored and had never been seen or published before. During the centuries since they were commissioned, most have been hidden away in obscure churches and monasteries of the Diocese, known only to the religious in residence.
My favorite is the magnificent Immacolata with the Dukes of Latera, from the S. Maria della Grazie monastery in the town of Farnese. Here angels in diaphanous striped robes and peacock feathered wings create a magical atmosphere heightened by the girl in the forefront gazing out at spectators.
Another delicate Madonna with child and saints from church of S. Giovanni Battista in the town of Grotte di Castro is exhibited here and published for the first time.
Several other small towns of the Viterbo Diocese (Onano, Latera, Valentano and Canino) have lent images of the Virgin for the exhibit in the Papal Palace which lasts until February 1st.
|souls in purgatory|
|transport of the holy house|
The Bishop’s residence, adjacent to the Papal Palace, loaned a large, newly restored banner as well as paintings of the Annunciation, the transport of the holy house and the mystical marriage of Santa Caterina.
|the papal loggia|
The show, Immagini della Vergine, is also a chance to see the inside of the Palace where the first Papal Conclave was held in the mid 1200s.
The architectural details of the palazzo include primitive stone pavements and a soaring wooden roof , the original one was removed “to let in the Holy Spirit” and help the cardinals decide who was to become the next pope.
|Art historian Mari and archeologist Alberto Pichardo greet visitors|
The atmosphere created by the historic building, the modern framing and appropriate music make the visit, coordinated by Giannino Tiziani, a multi-sensorial one.
Art historians will enjoy the detailed catalogue of the exhibit published by Edizioni Archeoares, a branch of Archeoares which is celebrating its 10th anniversary as managers of the museum complex this month. Compliments go to threesome Francesco Aliperti, Bruno Blanco and Giampaolo Serone for their professionalism and hard work in the past 10 years.
You will find more information about Viterbo, the Papal Palace complex and all the Etruria/Tuscia/Viterbese area on my website .
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I will be pleased to meet readers at upcoming events: February 20 at the Vetralla library and March 19 at the Museo Civico in Viterbo. Sign up to follow the blog and befriend me on Facebook to keep in the loop and receive updates .