ENGRAVINGS AND DRAWINGS
The collection includes over 600 sheets, from the15th to the 20th century between engravings and drawings. The exhibition opens with the Bacchanal with vat by Andrea Mantegna and then explores the derivatives from sculptures of the classical world, dwelling on the Renaissance and Mannerism to then reach the present days. Emblematic authors are represented, such as Agostino Veneziano, Marcantonio Raimondi, Agostino Musi, Marco Dente, Raffaele Guidi, Annibale Carracci, Hendrick Goltzius and the Flemish authors, Pietro Sante Bartoli, Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Pablo Picasso, Renato Guttuso, Giovanni Fattori and more.
Engraving was long established in northern Europe, while in Italy it was not favoured by artists because of the forced renunciation of color, the double signature invenit – excudit and the slowness of the techniques, but when Raphael entrusted Marcantonio Raimondi with the engraving of his works, to make them widely known, the resistances fell: engravings soon became a connective tissue between literary, figurative and scientific activities. As a global expression of Italian culture, engravings contributed to its widespread diffusion across Europe with the Wars of Italy, the Sack of Rome, the exodus to Fontainebleau and the North, the descent of the Flemish and the mutual influences. The popularity of Dionysian myths in engravings is to be found in the allegorical interpretations of Christianity, which allow for a re-reading of Ovid, Philostratus, Nonno di Panopoli, Boccaccio. These represent mythological nourishment in the cultural formation of the hegemonic class, they make young Bacchus the allegory of future princes and commanders conquering new lands in the name of justice and peace. The immersion in antiquity is supported by the Dionysian finds that continually come to light, objects that were once furnishing of galleries, gardens, mystical groves.