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Muża loans Guido Reno painting for Dante exhibition in Italy

Dante and Guido Reni's painting The Risen Christ embracing the Cross (right)

National art museum MUŻA has opted to loan Guido Reni’s painting named The Risen Christ embracing the Cross for an exhibition in Italy.

The exhibition is in honour of Dante Alighieri, the Italian poet, prose writer and philosopher, and is to be held in Forli, Italy. Dante – La Visione dell’Arte, will run from the start of April all the way up until 11 July, at the Musei San Domenico. It’s being organised by the renowned Uffizi Galleries, and the Fondazione Cassa dei Risparmi of Forli, in collaboration with the municipality of Forli.

The exhibition is celebrating Dante’s grandeur and marks the 7th centenary of his death. The philosopher’s ties with the city of Forli stem from the fact that he took up residence there for over a year, after leaving Arezzo in the autumn of 1302.

The exhibition promises to be an artistic journey spanning nine centuries, with some 300 selected masterpieces, spanning 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. It is not only an opportunity to commemorate Dante’s anniversary. It also intends to represent a symbol of redemption and rebirth for the world of art and the spirit of culture and civilisation, which it represents.

Reni’s masterpiece, which was completed in circa 1619, is large oil on canvas measuring 228 x 138cm. The work was 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 due its metaphorical representation of the relationship between art and Dante’s figure and literary works.

Noel Zammit, Heritage Malta’s CEO, 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,” he said.

Kenneth Cassar, MUŻA’s senior curator within the company, said that we should pride ourselves on 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 the artwork by Guido Reni, which once formed part of the Grandmaster’s collection at the Palace, is indeed a masterpiece of international repute.

Want to know more? Click here to check out Heritage Malta’s website.