As part of collaborative projects with Italian and foreign museums, the Royal Museums host on the first floor of the Sabauda Gallery, from 7 September to 12 December 2021, the work of Orazio Gentileschi Santa Cecilia playing the spinet and an angel, on loan from the National Gallery of Umbria in Perugia. The event offers an extraordinary opportunity for a direct confrontation with the Annunciation, a masterpiece by the same artist, a famous follower of Caravaggio, kept by the Royal Museums.
This initiative, in line with the three-year Strategic Plan of the Royal Museums presented last June, aims to consolidate and expand the cultural experience of the museum complex through new narratives of the collections, a journey that began in 2016 that led the public to discover masterpieces. by Sandro Botticelli, Giovanni Boldini, Antoon Van Dyck and Cerano exhibited in the Spazio Confronti of the Galleria Sabauda. The art gallery, already enriched in 2018 with two acquisitions by Carol Rama and Carlo Mollino, was also partly rearranged on the occasion of this new exhibition dossier, in particular with reference to the sector dedicated to Caravaggeschi painters and Lombard Masters of the early seventeenth century.
The collaboration with the National Gallery of Umbria in Perugia, after the presence of Caravaggio's San Giovanni Battista of the National Galleries of Ancient Art in Rome, once again places the accent on the trend dedicated to the great artists influenced by Merisi and consolidates another objective of the Royal Museums: the strengthening of relations with other museums and national institutions, with the prospect of building a virtuous network that accentuates and enhances the riches of each reality.
The comparison between these two works by Orazio Gentileschi, one of the most acclaimed painters at the turn of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, allows us to approach his working method, which consists in the reuse of cartons or transparencies to compose single figures or entire scenes. The face of Santa Cecilia playing the spinet and an angel, painted between 1615 and 1620 and coming from the monastery of San Francesco al Borgo di Todi where it was found in 1973, returns with a similar attitude in that of the Virgin in the Annunciation in Turin, donated by the same artist to Duke Carlo Emanuele I of Savoy in 1623 and now exhibited in the Galleria Sabauda.