closed La Maddalena. Caravaggio and Canova

Curated by: Vittorio Sgarbi, Contemplazioni

The show

An unprecedented dialogue between two immense artists, Caravaggio and Canova, is the protagonist of the rooms of the Antonio Canova Gypsotheca Museum in Possagno. The point of contact, in this exhibition, is a subject created by both: La Maddalena. «The Saint Mary Magdalene - explains Vittorio Sgarbi - is a woman who did not distinguish herself for her punished life, for her prayer and for the actions carried out in relation to her Christian principles. Exactly the opposite. She is a woman who lived in sin, even though she is looked upon by Christ as a nearby presence. In fact, theirs is an emotional and intense relationship, in which Jesus also respects the sinful life of the woman. Her sin is not rejected or looked upon with reproach, but it is a human condition, in the nature of woman, which Christ understands, admits and legitimizes ”. In ecstasy, with her head leaning back and her gaze lost, Caravaggio's Magdalene occupies almost the entire space of the painting, against an indefinite dark background. The light hits her face on which her tears fall and she brushes her long golden hair, directing her gaze to her intertwined hands. Her long-pleated white shirt opens across her chest, uncovering her shoulder defined by the light as her red robe covers her legs. La Maddalena lying by Antonio Canova represents a fundamental phase of the creative process followed by the artist, it was finished in 1819 and was exhibited in his Roman studio, as evidenced by some letters where it is defined: "Magdalene second lying, and in the attitude of a sweet and languid abandonment for excessive pain ". Canova waited a few years to make the marble, which is now lost. The work is characterized by the powerful pathos and, as in other recumbent figures made in the final phase of the sculptor's career, the naturalistic turning point. The project, in collaboration with the Canova ONLUS Foundation, is carried out by Contemplazioni thanks to the support of Intesa Sanpaolo.


Timetable and tickets


Via A. Canova, 74
31054 Possagno


More planned

date_range Museo Canova Museo Canova

Canova and pain

Until 05 November 2022

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