News about Sicily

Palermo, the journey of the beauty of the large “Ananias e Saphira” tapestry in Sicily and Calabria

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PALERMO. After four months of exposure at the Regional Gallery of Palazzo Abatellis , the large tapestry “Ananias e Saphira ” born from the cartoon of Raphael and part of the private collection of Roberto Bilotti Ruggi d’Aragona , will begin his small tour in exhibition halls in Sicily and Calabria. The delicate and perfect artifact – restored by the professionals of the Sistine Chapel, born from Raphael’s cartoon and then artfully crafted by the Belgian weaving machine of Heinrich Mattens – is an extraordinary piece and in recent months has aroused the interest of visitors to the Abatellis, where it has been exhibited since last September within the Week of Cultures . But the time has come to propose it to other eyes as well: since its first exhibition, the director of the Abatellis Evelina De Castro and the architect Giacomo Fanale built around the tapestry, a precise path that relates the works with Raphaelesque references in Sicily. And here he is finally on his way, with the support of the Rotary club Palermo est and the Rotary club Catania Ovest : from Friday 11 on Thursday 17 February will be on display in the Torture Room of Ursino Castle in Catania and from 21 to prile to 15 May in Palazzo Ducale in Palma di Montechiaro (Agrigento) and then moving from 19 May at the Diocesan Museum of Gerace (Reggio Calabria ) where Louis of Aragon was born, a noble cardinal who supervised the realization of the Flemish tapestries for the Sistine Chapel on behalf of Pope Leo X. Before departure, the project will be presented tomorrow Tuesday 25 January at 11 at Palazzo Abatellis . Guests of the director of the Abatellis Evelina De Castro , will be present the Councilor for Culture of the Municipality of Catania Barbara Mirabella and the director of the councilorship Paolo Di Caro , the councilor for culture of the municipality of Palermo Mario Zito , the president of the Rotary Club Catania Ovest Alberto Lunetta and by coordinator and contact person Filippo Pappalardo , on president of the Rotary club East Palermo Salvatore Torregrossa , Letizia Pace, contact person for Palazzo Ducale di Palma di Montechiaro and Cesira Palmeri in representation of the lender Roberto Bilotti Ruggi d’Aragona , the president of the Week of Cultures Salvo Viola and the project curator Giacomo Fanale . A real dialogue with several voices will then be initiated on the influences of Raphael in Sicily – the Spasimo and not only -; in addition to the tapestry, the Abatellis room hosted an engraving by the French Nicolas Dorigny , made on behalf of Queen Anne of England with etching and burin between 1711 and 1719 to celebrate the placement of the original cartoon at Hampton Court. It’s a beautiful story: for the tapestries in the Sistine Chapel Raphael commissioned by Pope Leo X, the series of ten cartoons (seven are exhibited at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London); and as that great communicator he was, he knew perfectly well that the copy is the soul of knowledge. The work depicts the death of Ananias, electrocuted by St. Peter because he was guilty of not having handed over to the Christian community all the money obtained from the sale of a property. The scene was built for a set of ten tapestries dedicated to the evangelizing work of Saints Peter and Paul, from which the cartoons that served the first tapestry maker were taken Pieter Van Aelst for weaving. The tapestries were immediately famous and some European courts asked to replicate them by entrusting them to French, Belgian and German artisans. This one on display was made at the beginning ‘600 by the tapestry maker Heinrich Mattens – some examples of which are preserved in the Cathedral of Toulouse – and presents, compared to Raphael’s cartoons, some changes in the backgrounds and a rich border with vegetable festoons in which various allegorical figures are enclosed. The project has the support of the Rotary Club Palermo Est which has been working for some time to promote the social and civil awareness of the context in which it operates, with initiatives that develop a sense of belonging to the territory and its heritage, in close collaboration with the most important museums.