closed Masterpiece for Lecco

The show

From 5 December 2023 to 3 March 2024 Palazzo delle Paure will host the exhibition MASTERPIECE FOR LECCO 2023 - The Mystery of the Father, the sign of Michelangelo

The first floor of Palazzo delle Paure in Lecco, the venue par excellence for the city's major exhibitions, will host the fifth edition of Capolavoro per Lecco, the exhibition event promoted by the cultural association and the pastoral community Madonna del Rosario in collaboration with the Municipality of Lecco. This year the heart of this event will be the reflection on the theme of the centrality of the fatherhood of God in Christmas . The reflection will be inspired by a subject, the Sacrifice of Isaac (Genesis 22), which acts as a link between the mystery of Christmas and the mystery of Easter: Jesus Christ who is born in Bethlehem is the new Isaac. Even in artistic terms, the story of Abraham and his son Isaac is an almost unique opportunity to depict an "unnatural" event - the father sacrificing his son at God's will - averted by the intervention of God himself only an instant before the catastrophe .

The protagonist masterpiece of the exhibition will in fact be the extraordinary drawing of the Sacrifice of Isaac , created by Michelangelo Buonarroti around 1530, which appeared only once in the exhibition after the 2017 restoration which made it possible to rediscover the image outlined by the artist on the reverse of the sheet. Michelangelo's autograph sheet starts from Renaissance precedents, in particular from the Sacrifice of Isaac sculpted by Donatello for the work of the Florence Cathedral, and amplifies its dramatic significance both through the close dialogue between Abraham and the angel and through the twist of bodies. The work, dating back to around 1530, reveals a mature phase of the great artist's activity and seems to herald the tormented movement of the Final Judgment in the Sistine Chapel. Furthermore, Michelangelo's sheet is particularly important for the presence of an image of the same subject on the reverse, which only the restoration made it possible to find, when the false background that hid it was removed in 2017. The drawing discovered on the reverse is a quick and powerful black pencil sketch made by the artist by "turning the sheet" and, through close observation of both sides, it will be possible to read the succession of the two drawings. The image of the Sacrifice of Isaac, probably appreciated for its dramatic potential, was revived by later artists.

The other works on display
Michelangelo's drawing will be accompanied by three other works of similar subject in the exhibition: the seventeenth-century canvas of the "Sacrifice of Isaac" painted by Giuseppe Vermiglio and the replicas of the two relief panels created in 1401 by Filippo Brunelleschi and Lorenzo Ghiberti. The replicas of the two panels, with which the two greatest architects of the first Florentine Renaissance participated in the competition announced by the Arte della Seta or Calimala to entrust the construction of the north door of the Baptistery, exemplify the variety of figurative solutions that the artists were able to draw from substantial fixity and inalterability of the given theme. It was precisely with that competition at the beginning of the 15th century that the first Florentine Renaissance began. Therefore these works represent the point of origin, but also the threshold to be crossed by Michelangelo himself. Finally, the exhibition will also feature one of the canvases depicting the Sacrifice of Isaac by the Milanese painter Giuseppe Vermiglio, an artist admired by Roberto Longhi himself as "one of the most sincerely Caravaggesque" among those present in Rome in the early seventeenth century. But if in those first variations on the theme of the Sacrifice of Isaac the Vermilion reveals a close dependence on Merisi's models, in the paintings of a similar subject dating back to the 1620s, when the Vermilion returns to Milan, the painter instead elaborates a compositional conception of classicistic flavour. The Sacrifice of Isaac from the Gastaldi Rotelli Foundation present in the exhibition belongs to this second group of works.

An engaging exhibition itinerary
The layout of the exhibition event was designed by the curators of the exhibition (Susanna De Maron, Laura Polo d'Ambrosio and Giorgio Melesi) to accompany the visitor to the work through a path developed in the chromaticism of the exhibition space. The itinerary guides the visitor to the progressive discovery of the works and accompanies him to a gradual immersion in reflection on the proposed theme, alternating moments of narration by the children, others of multimedia in-depth analysis, and still others of personal contemplation. There is no shortage of spaces dedicated to workshops reserved for younger visitors, who will be introduced to the discovery of possible expressiveness through direct manipulation of the "clay". Finally, this year too, the Capolavoro per Lecco project is characterized by the involvement, through an educational experience, of students from all the high schools in the area in a context of active citizenship and PCTO path. It is an experience that asks young people to get directly involved in the valorisation and digital and social communication of the common heritage, considered a precious asset. The indicative value of the experience will be the students' meeting with the experts involved in the project. The exhibition will be accompanied by an illustrated and documented catalogue.


Venue : Palazzo delle Paure – Piazza XX Settembre, 22 (LC)
Hours : Tuesday 10.00 – 14.00 | from Wednesday to Sunday 10.00 – 18.00. Closed every Monday, Christmas, Easter, May 1st
Entrance : €2
Free admission : disabled person and one companion, journalists with a valid card, qualified tourist guides, children up to 5 years old, ICOM members with a valid card, Lombardy Museum Subscription members with a valid card, one person accompanying groups of every 15 people, teachers from Lecco schools of all levels.


Timetable and tickets


Piazza XX Settembre, 22
23900 Lecco


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