The protagonist of the exhibition is embroidery, an ancient technique, often practiced by women in the home, but also the object, in past centuries, of the work of specialized craftsmen, gathered in a special trade association which in Genoa was called the Art of Embroiderers.
Taking a cue from one of the most interesting books of sixteenth-century models intended for embroiderers, entitled Triumph of virtue, the itinerary in the rooms of Palazzo Bianco winds through various types of subjects, techniques and materials used for embroidery in the West and in the East, from silk to metallic yarns, and presenting a wide range of world-class artefacts that include clothing, household and liturgical furnishings, paintings, engravings, and drawings.
The leitmotif of the exhibition are the subjects of the embroidery, a wonderful world of images that unfold through the centuries, linking different eras, cultures and civilizations in an uninterrupted dialogue. Flowers, animals, mythological or allegorical figures, complex geometric and abstract motifs: a very rich repertoire that tells the story of art and taste, through precious fabrics and materials worked by the hands of unsurpassed craftsmen.
Visitors will be able to admire numerous and very varied works worthy of interest: they range from the Afghan prayer handkerchiefs, of the Hazara people, to the beautiful Gonfalone of the city of Genoa, presented at the Universal Exposition in Paris of the year 1900, from the sumptuous Renaissance frontal with embroidery in silk and gold, to the riot of Baroque flowers that embellish the liturgical hangings of the early eighteenth century, released for the occasion from the sacristies of some important Genoese churches.
Also noteworthy is a series of precious embroidery carried over from the 16th and 17th centuries from the Textile Collection of the Royal Palace and some embroidery paintings by the artist Marianna Elmo, active in the 18th century.
An itinerary between East and West but also between past and present. In fact, the exhibition hosts some contemporary embroideries: a work by the artist Simon Clavière-Schiele embroidered by another very young French artist, embroidery specialist, Theophile Faure, and, at the end of the path, an exceptional gala dress, created by a young Genoese designer, Francesco Bogetti, influenced by the timeless charm of embroidered baroque flowers.