Superbarocco exhibition comes to Rome

The President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella at the inauguration of the exhibition entitled Superbarocco. Art in Genoa from Rubens to Magnasco ”, photo by Quirinale[29]

 ROME - The Scuderie del Quirinale and the National Gallery of Art in Washington present a major exhibition celebrating the period of Genoese Baroque.

 On March 26., the Scuderie del Quirinale opened “Superbarocco. Arte a Genova, da Rubens a Magnasco”to the public, another great exhibition organised in partnership with the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, with the special participation of the Municipality and museums of Genoa. Inaugurated by the President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, and open until next 3 July, the exhibition is dedicated to the long golden century of Genoese art--a glorious period that began in the early seventeenth century and lasted until the middle of the following century. It is widely recognized as one of the most spectacular chapters in the history of Western art. The Genoese merchants’ investments were not just financial, but featured artistic commissions: splendid palaces, glorious churches, enchanting fresco cycles, extravagant paintings, sumptuous silverware, marble statues. A Baroque that is similar to that of Rome in its complex, cosmopolitan nature, only given to a unique synthesis of different styles, and essentially private.

 A show for two capital cities

 The exhibition at the Scuderie, a fully collaborative project, was designed to have had its first showing at the National Gallery of Art, in Washington, DC. Despite the forced cancellation of that showing, due to the worsening of the pandemic last autumn, the National Gallery has maintained its role of co-organiser of the exhibition that now—finally—has been brought to life at the Scuderie del Quirinale. The project has been an extraordinary opportunity for the two great institutions—the two capitals—to collaborate. The participation of the City of Genoa in the project Superbarocco is notable not just for the many prestigious loans for Rome, but also for the organisation of a parallel exhibition at the Palazzo Ducale, "The Form of Wonder. Masterpieces in Genoa between 1600 and 1750" (27 March-10 July), as well as a series of initiatives that, under the Style "The Protagonists" and in coincidence with the exhibition at the Palazzo Ducale, in different museums and palaces, gives monographic presentations of some of the major figures in Genoese painting of this grand period. A celebration by Genoa itself of its golden age, certainly in the economic sense, and equally and inseparably in terms of cultural ambition and great artistic distinction. Both exhibitions were conceived and organised by Piero Boccardo, Jonathan Bober and Franco Boggero. The title “Superba” - to which the name “Superbarocco” refers - is perfectly apt for Genoa, a city that between the end of the sixteenth century and the first decades of the eighteenth century was one of the great economic capitals of Europe. The splendor and luxury, as pursued with great determination by the noble families of Genoa, are conspicuous in this exceptional presentation of over one hundred and twenty works on display at the Scuderie del Quirinale. They come from some of the major museums of Europe and the United States, from churches of Genoa and Liguria, and from numerous private collections. A unique opportunity, then, to admire works of great historical interest and the highest aesthetic quality: from the Nativity of Castiglione, from the Genoese church of San Luca to a processional group of Anton Maria Maragliano from Pieve di Teco, the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception, a silver-clad statue from the Treasure Museum of the Cathedral of Genoa—all works that had been planned for the Washington venue. 

 In addition: one of the two altarpieces of Pieter Paul Rubens for Genoa's church of the Gesù; two masterpieces of silversmithing, one from the Cathedral Museum of Toledo, the other from a private collection; The Rape of Elena by Pierre Puget from the Museum of Sant'Agostino; and a group of luxurious furnishings from the Museums of Strada Nuova in Genoa. A presentation as spectacular as it is coherent, with an astonishing variety of techniques and range of subjects —an enthralling portrait of artistic production in Superba between the sixteenth and eighteenth century.  

 Associated with the institutional framework and promotion of the project, the City of Genoa has agreed to support the exhibition not only through the loan of an extraordinary selection of works of art belonging to the museums of the City and the State, as well as the Diocesan Museum and that of the Accademia Ligustica, but also through the enthusiastic support of the civic authorities and the Liguria Region, starting with its mayor, and with the organisation of other specific exhibitions in the city connected with the exhibition at the Palazzo Ducale. In Liguria, the Diocese of Albenga is also organising the exhibition "Onde Barocche: Diocesan Masterpieces between 1600 and 1750", curated by Castore Sirimarco and Don Emanuele Caccia, from 8 April to 13 November 2022.

 Mario De Simoni, President & CEO of Ales - Scuderie del Quirinale, states that "With the exhibition “Superbarocco. Arte a Genova da Rubens a Magnasco”, the Scuderie del Quirinale renews its commitment to an exhibition of great international importance despite the continuing difficult situation". For Matteo Lafranconi, Director of the Scuderie del Quirinale, "A project that comes from afar, rooted in a context of international scientific relations of excellence. A confirmation of the full membership of the Scuderie del Quirinale in the world system of high-level museum exhibitions”. Kaywin Feldman, Director of the National Gallery of Art of Washington, “Genoese artists and their patrons led a legacy that was a singularly rich and beautiful expression of baroque style and visual splendor during the 17th and early 18th centuries. For the last two years, this landmark project has been affected by immeasurable complications and challenges that compromised Washington’s presentation of the exhibition. We are deeply grateful to our loyal and generous partners in Genoa, the Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome, and the many lenders on multiple continents for sharing their priceless treasures on this joyous occasion. This highly anticipated presentation of the exhibition is a testament to the enduring enchantment of the Genoese Baroque.

 A rich program of events

 As ever, for the occasion of the exhibition "Superbarocco. Arte a Genova da Rubens a Magnasco", the Scuderie del Quirinale offers visitors a rich program of meetings dedicated to the exhibition and its main themes: the program of the meetings is available on:

 The Italian edition of the catalogue is published by Skira for Scuderie del Quirinale. The exhibition catalogues "La forma della meraviglia" and "I protagonisti" are published by Sagep.

 The new Scuderie del Quirinale APP.

 This is a multiplatform application, available for both iOS and Android, that accompanies the visitor throughout the exhibition with insights on many of the exhibited works of visual type (images, photo- gallery and movies), text and multimedia. With the App you can also listen to the audio guides of the exhibition. With a simple touch, you can switch from one room to another and without having to resort to additional devices. All content is available in Italian and English and not only at the time of the visit, but also for those who want a preview of the exhibition or who cannot come to Rome and visit the exhibition in person; as well as for those who want to review and learn more about the exhibition. 


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Genoese silversmith, Madonna Immacolata, 1748, silver on a wooden mannequin,armours, Genoa, Museum of the Treasury of the Cathedral of San Lorenzo,Photo Luigino Visconti
Pieter Paul Rubens, The miracles of Blessed Ignatius of Loyola, 1619, Genoa, Church of the Gesù and of Saints Ambrose and Andrew