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 you can admire, compared to 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 to the great processional machines with the martyrs of the saints.
This is the first exhibition event to give an account of the artist's monographic profile, addressed in the last twenty years in a specific and in-depth manner by Daniele Sanguineti who has made a capillary archive and philological contribution, greatly increasing the catalog of works.
The ability to meet the needs of the client through beautiful images and strong emotional impact made possible, from the beginning of the eighteenth century, the obtaining of a real monopoly that forced the sculptor to provide a structured business 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 the phenomenon of divulging the master's language which represents the most fascinating, though problematic, aspect of the approach to sculptor: and the pupils of the students 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 dual approach: on one side the chronological process, with the reference cultural models, the beginnings, the workshop and the progressive intervention of the students; a series of thematic sections, articulated in 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 was formed, from Giuseppe Arata and Giovanni Battista Agnesi to Giovanni Battista Bissoni and Marco Antonio Poggio.
Followed by the places of Maragliano evoked through a series of documents, engravings and watercolors useful to tell the stages of apprenticeship and the environments that have hosted the master's workspace over the years.
The magnificent San Michele Arcangelo of Celle Ligure, requested in Maragliano in 1694, and the San Sebastiano for the Disciplinanti of Rapallo, commissioned in 1700, testify, in a special section, the role of models in tune 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 into the three-dimensionality of the artefact the engaging grace of contemporary painting and Bernini's sculpture, reveal the new, delicate dynamism of Baroque culture.
The practice of work, from the manipulation of clay models to the collaboration with painters - especially those of Casa Piola - will constitute a deepening of particular interest that will make comprehensible the ideational project in the entirety of its process.
The progressive juxtaposition of some Crucifixes, large or small, from a chapel, from a high altar or from a procession, shows the substantial renewal conferred by Maragliano on the iconography until obtaining a repeatable cliche on the part of the students.
A series of spectacular Madonnas, seated on the throne, and an extraordinary processional crate - the Sant'Antonio Abate contemplates the death of Saint Paul Hermit now relevant to the homonymous brotherhood of Mele - give back the theatrical values of the maraglianesche compositions, for which the biographer Ratti, reporting the judgment of the people, wrote: "... have all the air of Paradise".
The penitential themes, from Holy Week, will be illustrated in the enthralling section The passion according to Maragliano.
Alongside works of small format, including the nativity statues, which will allow you to fully appreciate the master's technical expertise, will also be exhibited refined objects, sacred and profane, commissioned by noble families for their private collections.
The journey ends with an allusion to the complex management of the maraglianesca heritage, thanks to the presence of some pieces made by the main students.