Caravaggio, image damage? Municipality index symposium, Sgarbi: he is not Ragusa

Ragusa. Never before has a cultural theme been discussed so actively in Ragusa. Exhibition with “Sleeping Saint John“In the Badia church in Ragusa Superiore, this provokes a reaction on all levels.
Didn’t Caravaggio paint a picture from a private collection in Malta and is now exhibited in Ragusa (after the previous exhibition in Camaiore)?

Let’s start with the opposition to the mayor: “The leaders of the opposition groups in the council, Sergio Firrincheli of the Five Star Movement, Mario Chiavola of the Democratic Party, Gianni Yurato of Ragusa Prossima and Giorgio Mirabella of Together, submitted a request to the president. of the Municipal Council of Fabrizio Ilardo in the case of Caravaggio.
“We ask,” write Firrincheli, Chiavola, Yurato and Mirabella in a note sent this morning, “an urgent meeting of the leaders of the groups with an invitation from Mayor Peppe Cassi and councilors Francesco Barone and Clorinda Arezzo to report on the issue of Caravaggio.”
In fact, the four leaders of the group argue that during these hours there was a lot of controversy expressed about the exhibition in question, and we need to have a clear understanding of the situation in order to protect the image of the municipality. Ragusa and the whole city.”
Yes, clear picture, never slide off it was more Freudian.

Exhibition organizers: on June 3 we will have a symposium
The organizers of the exhibition (whose services cost the municipality only 6,000 euros) respond with a symposium scheduled for June 3rd. No press conference, no convention. Symposiums on Caravaggio are held in Ragusa.
Here is the note, which we report in full:
“Symposium with art experts Michelangelo Merisi and discussion of the painting “Reclining San Giovanni”, attributed by some documents and scientific studies to Caravaggio, the central work of the exhibition “Caravaggio – the last landing” in the church of Badia di Ragusa. While the exhibition is already celebrating its first 1,000 visitors, the symposium will take place on June 3 at 11:00 am in the main hall of the Cultural Trade Center, which will be open to critics, historians, art historians and journalists and will serve to illustrate all the details of the diagnostic campaign carried out on the painting and documentary evidence. Representatives of the production and owner of the painting, art critic Pierluigi Carofano and exhibition curator, restorer and art historian Roberta Lapucci, physicist-diagnostic of works of art Teobaldo Pasquali, doctor. Francesco Moretti, member of the organizing committee of the exhibition and chemist Leonardo Borgioli, all well-known experts in the field of art history and restoration. The exhibition catalog, which is at an advanced stage of development, contains contributions from various scholars, including art historian professor Mina Gregori, academician Lincei and Italy’s most famous art expert, Caravaggio.
The exhibition organized by Happee Place and Mediatica under the patronage of the Municipality of Ragusa, the Municipal Consortium of Libero and Opera Pia Schininà, in addition to the painting “Reclining San Giovanni Battista”, presents four other works of famous authors that refer to the art of Cavarage. These are the works “Sermon of St. John the Baptist” by Domenico Piola, “St. John the Baptist baptizes Christ in the Jordan River” Luigi Garzi, “St. John the Baptist preaches to the crowds by Giovanni Odazzi, The Holy Family and Saint John by Francesco Rustici. Visitors and tourists are delighted with the exhibition, which can be visited until October 15, 2022.”

Mayor of Ragusa Cassi: Why is Sgarbi only waking up now?
Meanwhile, the mayor of Ragusa, Peppe Cassi, increases the dose, secretly accusing Vittorio Sgarbi of only now waking up and denying that the painting belonged to Michelangelo Merisi, when in the past he remained on the crest of diplomacy: “In more than 400 years after his death, the art of Caravaggio still able to excite and make people discuss. Ragusa, with an exhibition in Chiesa della Badia that salutes the “lying San Giovanni Battista”, is involved in this confrontation, which, having excited the greatest experts of the Lombard artist, can only increase our knowledge of the artist.
In fact, the debate about the authenticity of a work has been going on in recent days, with prominent opinions pitted against each other. There is no doubt that before accepting the canvas, the municipality received sufficient assurances: according to art historian Pierluigi Carofano, curator of the exhibition in Ragusa, “the reclining San Giovanni Battista, exhibited in Ragusa, was remembered as a certain work of Caravaggio in the Medici inventory, starting from 1641 and until the 18th century, and the dimensions and iconography correspond. The greatest living explorer of Caravaggio, i.e. Mina Gregory, confirmed the attribution in a card of her name on the occasion of an important and recent exhibition in Japan, where the work was exhibited as “Caravaggio”.
In an article that appeared in Il Giornale on December 5 last year, this is a reading by Prof. Garofano was defined as “certainly interesting” by Vittorio Sgarbi, who today instead demonstrates for the first time the certainty of the work’s inauthenticity, confirming that art criticism is a living and constantly evolving material.
You can find the article here.
On June 3, at 11.00, during a meeting open to all, which will be held at the Cultural Mall, the curator of the exhibition, accompanied by other experts and scholars, will provide all the data and evidence he has on the history of the painting, clarify its attribution and help understand the artist who for 400 years he has not stopped talking about himself.

Sgarbi: Caravaggio’s hand is missing. He is like a tailor, like a cook, recognizable
“Visitors and tourists are delighted with the exhibition,” organizers write in a statement. Among those not thrilled is the art critic Vittorio Sgarbi, who in a way spicy a few days ago, he spoke in an interview with Video Mediterraneo, explaining that there is clearly nothing in the picture of Merisi’s communicative power.
Here are the rest of his statements: “I said from the first day when I saw this picture in Camaiore that I would not write about it, in fact my essay is not. I made an article in which I say that the work is very interesting, and like the other works of Caravaggio – I don’t know – La Maddalenanine versions are known, Weather in San Francesco ten are known, two versions of it are known (another in Munich, in Bavaria, ed.), well, none of them are the hands of Caravaggio. We see a work that is interesting to study, since it testifies to the invention of Caravaggio. From a pictorial point of view, the works exhibited in Ragusa and preserved in Munich, at the level of a certain certificate of quality, are not created by the hand of Caravaggio. The hand of Caravaggio is like that of a tailor, like that of a cook. Here, instead, we are faced with a derivation of a work by Caravaggio, probably lost, whose existence we do not know, and the cook who made it is not Caravaggio.

Three intellectuals: Don’t associate our name with the exhibition in Ragusa
In the meantime, three prominent figures in the world of culture, brought up by the organizers, asked that their name not be associated with the exhibition in Ragusa. These are Rossella Vaudret and Claudio Falcucci, and Gianni Papi, the last one with the letter to Raguzagnos.

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