The national art museum MUŻA has loaned for a few months Guido Reni’s painting “The Risen Christ embracing the Cross” for an exhibition in Dante’s honour being held in Forlì, Italy.

The exhibition, entitled ‘Dante – La Visione dell’Arte’, will run from the 1st of April until the 11th of July at the Musei San Domenico in Forlì. It is being organised by the renowned Uffizi Galleries and the Fondazione Cassa dei Risparmi of Forlì, in collaboration with the municipality of Forlì.

The exhibition celebrates the grandeur of Italian poet, writer and philosopher Dante Alighieri and marks the 7th centenary of his death. Dante’s ties with the city of Forlì stem from the fact that he took up residence there for more than a year after leaving Arezzo in the autumn of 1302.

The exhibition will be an artistic journey spanning nine centuries with some 300 selected masterpieces from the 13th to the 20th century, from Giotto, Filippino Lippi, Lorenzo Lotto, Michelangelo and Tintoretto, up to Boccioni and Casorati, and many other masters of the last century.

The exhibition is not simply an opportunity to commemorate Dante’s anniversary – in the difficult moment that the whole world is experiencing, it also intends to represent a symbol of redemption and rebirth for the world of art and the spirit of culture and civilisation that it represents.

Reni’s masterpiece, completed in circa 1619, is a large oil on canvas measuring 228 x 138 centimetres, inspired by Michelangelo Buonarroti’s “Cristo Risorto” sculpture at the church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva in Rome. The painting was requested by the exhibition’s organisers because of its metaphorical representation of the relationship between art and Dante’s figure and literary works.

Noel Zammit, Heritage Malta’s Chief Executive Officer, said that beyond its great artistic value, this exhibition is also an opportunity for a deeper collaboration among nations and entities. Heritage Malta welcomes such collaborations, which are another form of diplomacy, as they reap plenty of fruit and lead to further joint ventures in fields such as research. “This is also an opportunity to exhibit the art in our national collection to foreign audiences,” said Noel Zammit.

Kenneth Cassar, MUŻA’s Senior Curator within Heritage Malta, remarked that we should all pride ourselves by the fact that none other than the prestigious Uffizi Galleries have shortlisted an artwork from the national collection at MUŻA to feature as one of the highlights of such an important exhibition. This further certifies that this artwork by Guido Reni, that once formed part of the Grand Master’s collection at the Palace, is indeed a masterpiece of international repute.


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