Palazzo Reale, in the Teatro del Falcone, opens to the public from 10 November 2018 to 10 March 2019, a major exhibition, curated by Daniele Sanguineti, dedicated to the famous figure of Anton Maria Maragliano, renowned author of wooden sculptures.
For the first time it will be possible to admire, in comparison with each other, the master's masterpieces, witnesses of the persuasive power of painted and gilded wood to personify the protagonists of Paradise: from the elegant Marian statues to the graceful Crucifixes up to the grandiose processional machines with the martyrs of the saints.
This is the first exhibition event useful to give an account of the monographic profile of the artist, addressed in the last twenty years in a specific and in-depth manner by Daniele Sanguineti who has made a capillary archival and philological contribution, considerably increasing the catalog of works.
The ability to respond to the needs of the client through beautiful images with a strong emotional impact made it possible, starting from the beginning of the eighteenth century, to obtain a real monopoly that forced the sculptor to equip himself with an articulated entrepreneurial structure. Two generations of students were welcomed in the rooms of Strada Giulia, in the heart of Genoa, where Maragliano had his workshop, giving rise to that phenomenon of dissemination of the master's language which represents the most fascinating, albeit problematic, aspect of the approach to sculptor: and the pupils' pupils pursued this popularization beyond the end of the century.
The exhibition, set up in the rooms of the Teatro del Falcone, will propose an exhibition itinerary with a double approach: on the one hand the chronological process, with the reference cultural models, the beginnings, the workshop and the progressive intervention of the students, on the other hand a series of thematic sections, divided into suggestive aggregations of works by iconography or scenographic impact.
The exhibition will open with a section dedicated to the precedents with the works of the artists on which the young Maragliano trained, from Giuseppe Arata and Giovanni Battista Agnesi to Giovanni Battista Bissoni and Marco Antonio Poggio.
This will be followed by the places of Maragliano evoked through a series of documents, engravings and watercolors useful to tell the stages of the apprenticeship and the environments that have hosted the workspace of the master over the years.
The magnificent San Michele Arcangelo of Celle Ligure, requested from Maragliano in 1694, and the San Sebastiano for the Disciplinanti di Rapallo, commissioned in 1700, testify, in a special section, the role of models in harmony with the most up-to-date figurative culture rooted in Genoa thanks to the painter Domenico Piola and the French sculptor Pierre Puget. These sculptures, capable of translating the engaging grace of contemporary painting and Berninian sculpture into the three-dimensional nature of the artefact, reveal the new, delicate dynamism of Baroque culture.
The working practice, from the manipulation of the clay models to the collaboration with the painters - especially those of Casa Piola - will constitute an in-depth study of particular interest that will make the ideational project understandable in its entirety.
The progressive juxtaposition of some crucifixes, large or small, from chapel, from high altar or from procession, shows the substantial renewal conferred by Maragliano on the iconography until obtaining a replicable cliché by the students.
A series of spectacular Madonnas, seated on a throne, and an extraordinary processional chest - the Sant'Antonio Abate contemplates the death of St.Paul the hermit today belonging to the homonymous brotherhood of Mele - restore the theatrical values of the Maraglianesque compositions, for which the biographer Ratti, reporting the judgment of the people, wrote: "... they have all the air of Paradise".
The penitential themes, from Holy Week, will be illustrated in the engaging section The Passion according to Maragliano.
Alongside small-sized works, including nativity statues, which will allow you to fully appreciate the master's technical expertise, there will also be exhibited extremely refined objects, from a sacred and profane context, commissioned by noble families for their private collections.
The path ends with an allusion to the complex management of the Maraglianesque heritage, thanks to the presence of some pieces made by the main students.