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The Griffoni Polyptych Reborn in Bologna
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 Export to Your Calendar 5/18/2020 to 1/10/2021
When: Thursday, June 18, 2020
Where: Palazzo Fava
via Manzoni 2
Contact: Angela De Benedictis

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After a troubled journey home, the rediscovered masterpiece is finally ready to reveal itself. From Monday 18 May, Palazzo Fava presents to the public the exhibition dedicated to one of the greatest masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance: the Griffoni Polyptych by Francesco del Cossa and Ercole de’ Roberti.

The culmination of over two years of work, this extraordinary event of world-wide resonance brings together in Bologna, for the first time in 300 years, the 16 original panels of the Griffoni Polyptych, thanks to the exceptional loans from nine international museums: National Gallery (London), Pinacoteca di Brera (Milan), Louvre (Paris), National Gallery of Art (Washington), Collezione Cagnola di Gazzada (Varese), Musei Vaticani (Roma), Pinacoteca Nazionale di Ferrara, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen (Rotterdam), Collezione Vittorio Cini (Venezia).

The exhibition features two sections: one, The Griffoni Polyptych Reborn in Bologna, curated by Mauro Natale in collaboration with Cecilia Cavalca and with the support of Basilica di San Petronio, offers a unique opportunity to admire the original panels of the altarpiece up close. The other section, The Materiality of the Aura. New Technologies for Preservation, curated by Adam Lowe, Guendalina Damone and the Factum Foundation team, explores the work of Factum Foundation and the importance of new technologies for the preservation and diffusion of cultural heritage.

The first floor of Palazzo Fava exhibits the panels of the Griffoni Polyptych: the monumental altarpiece, dedicated to St Vincent Ferrer, was commissioned around 1470–72 by Floriano Griffoni to the Ferrarese painter Francesco del Cossa, to embellish his family chapel in the Basilica of San Petronio in Bologna. This work marked the beginning of his collaboration with the younger Ercole de’ Roberti, forming one of the most impressive artistic partnerships of the late 15th century in Italy. The two painters were joined by the woodcarver Agostino de’ Marchi, who produced the now-lost frame of the Polyptych. In 1725, the altarpiece was dismembered by the new owner of the chapel, Monsignor Pompeo Aldrovandi: the painted panels entered the art market, before eventually reaching the nine international museums where they are currently housed.

On the second floor of Palazzo Fava, visitors will encounter the work of Factum Foundation. Since 2012, the Foundation has re-materialised the most important artworks of the past through the use of high-resolution recording and innovative digital technologies. The display offers a detailed glimpse into the conservation and sharing of cultural heritage, from the re-materialisation of the Griffoni Polyptych to the reconstruction of several lost artworks and documents. The digital scanning of the famous Lamentation over the Dead Christ by Niccolò dell’Arca, a unique example of Renaissance terracotta statuary preserved in the Church of Santa Maria della Vita, will also be shown to the public for the first time.

Reuniting the surviving panels of the Griffoni Polyptych for the first time in over 300 years, this exhibition holds special historical, artistic and cultural significance not just for the city of Bologna, but for the broader national and international public.

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