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Nino Migliori - Lumen

Art | exhibition | Event | Photography

The photographic exhibition “Nino Migliori – Lumen”, curated by Graziano Companini and promoted by Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio in Bologna and Genus Bononiae, is a tribute, from the Bolognese photographer, to renaissance masterpiece “Il Compianto di Niccoló dell’Arca”.

Nino Migliori, who has always been a great experimenter of photographic materials and languages, is conducting, from 2006, a research on the sight: to photograph sculptures masterpieces utilizing just a candle as light source.
The “Bolognese chapter” of the project, which was produced in the last two years, is composed by 34 unpublished photographs which Migliori has donated to “Collezioni d’Arte e di Storia della Fondazione Carisbo”.

The exhibit is integrated with a catalogue (Edizioni Quinlan) entirely dedicated to the “Bolognese project”, provided along with texts curated by Graziano Campanini and Eugenio Riccomini and the reproduction of all the photographs which are exposed.

The exhibition is held in one of Genus Bononiae site, Santa Maria della Vita


The fresco over the high altar on the wall bordering via Pescherie – the Madonna with Child and Saints – has been recently attributed to Piero di Giovanni Lianori. The church was consecrated on November 2nd, 1962, but it was actually completed only a century later, when it was topped with the imposing dome designed by Giuseppe Tubertini (1759 – 1831). The existence of the frescoes was forgotten over time. The miraculous finding of it in a cavity inside the wall in 1614 determined the institution of the Feast of Santa Maria della Vita on September 10th, each year.

The oratory of Santa Maria della Vita is a key example of early Bolognese baroque, the only sacred architecture in the city with a Venetian ceiling. The members of the Confraternita of the Flagellants used to gather in this place in order to pray privately. Today the oratory hosts the Museum of Health and Assistance and two important artworks: the terracotta sculpture group, realized by Alfonso Lombardi from Ferrara between 1519 and 1522, representing an episode of the Funeral of the Virgin, and the altarpiece: Madonna with Child and Saints, painted by Francesco Bezzi (known as Nosadella) in 1564.

Via Clavatura 8-10
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Niccoló, whose family probably came from Dalmatia, was born between 1435 and 1440, presumably in Apulia, according to what Niccoló himself inscribed on Christ’s pillow in the Compianto – “Opus Nicolai de Apulia”.
His presence is documented in Bologna since 1462, and his first certain work is the Compianto sul Cristo morto.
In Bologna there are only a few works attributed to Niccoló with certainty: the large Madonna with Child on the façade of Palazzo d’Accursio, the city‘s town hall; the Great Eagle in terracotta above the main entrance of San Giovanni in Monte; two busts of Saint Dominic, one of which is housed in the museum of the Basilica of San Domenico; the richly-decorated marble crowning of the Ark of Saint Dominic.
Niccoló d’Apulia thus took the surname “dell’Arca”, later passed down in the family, because of his contribution to the Ark of Saint Dominic. He died in 1494 and he was buried in the church of the Celestines near San Petronio.


Besides the Madonna and John the Evangelist, whose lives are too well-known to require any summary, other characters – briefly described below – make up this great theatrical scene. Joseph of Arimathea was the man who asked Pilate for Christ’s body and provided a sepulchre for it. Next to him, there is Mary of Joseph, traditionally identified with the mother of Zebedee’s sons, James the Greater and John the Evangelist. There are also the Madonna, John the Apostle and Mary of Clopas, shown in the act of keeping back the horror of the dead Christ with her hands and crying out her grief at the top of her voice.
The last figure is Mary Magdalene, traditionally placed at Christ’s feet, because she was the sinner that he had forgiven.
The Compianto was defined a “scream of stone” by Gabriele D’Annunzio, who has deeply influenced the history of Italian culture.


It’s a cultural, artistic and museum itinerary, created by the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio in Bologna. It is composed of historical buildings, right in the centre of Bologna, that have been restored and are now open to the public: Palazzo Pepopli – Museum of the History of Bologna, an innovative museum dedicated to the history of the city; Palazzo Fava – Exhibition Centre, a dedicated events and exhibition centre, frescoed by the Carraccis; San Colombano, with the inestimable Collection of antique musical instruments of the Maestro Tagliavini; Santa Maria della Vita, which houses the famous terracotta sculputer the Compianto sul Cristo morto realized by Niccoló dell’Arca; the Art and History Library of San Giorgio in Poggiale, with a rich collection of books dating from the 1500s onwards; the Church of Santa Cristina, a privileged concert venue; Casa Saraceni, home of Fondazione Carisbo.


When: 1st January 2017 - 23rd April 2017
Where: Santa Maria della Vita, Via Clavatura 8-10, Bologna
Hours: from Thursday to Sunday - 10AM to 19PM
Tickets: Free Entry
Guided Tour: +39 051 19936329
Info: +39 051 230260 santamariadellavita@genusbononiae.it 

Text by: Genus Bononiae

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