Until January 7th, 2024 at the “Gian Giacomo Galletti” Civic Museums.
Il Gran Teatro della Luce is the title of the new exhibition of “Gian Giacomo Galletti” Civic Museums in Palazzo San Francesco in Domodossola, curated by Antonio D’Amico and Federico Troletti, under the patronage of the Piedmont Region and realized by the City of Domodossola together with renewed collaboration with the Angela Paola Ruminelli Foundation and the Bagatti Valsecchi Museum in Milan.
The exhibition, dedicated to light in art between Italy and Flanders between the seventeenth and twentieth centuries, recounts a journey from candlelight to the electric light revolution, a light that is also a witness to the passage of time and is investigated in its technological scope. Tiziano, Van Dyck, Ippolito Caffi, Gaetano Previati and Renoir are some of the big names on display, thanks also to the valuable collaboration of Enel Green Power, which pays homage to the Ossola Valley and its unique hydroelectric potential.
A total of 45 works, 13 of which are an exceptional loan from Banco BPM, in an installation conceived and created by architect and light designer Matteo Fiorini of Studio Lys; an innovative light path that also uses Ossola materials, such as serizzo stone.
In the first section we meet the “candlelight” paintings, with fine canvases by 17th-century Flemish artists such as Gherardo delle Notti, Adam de Coster, and Trophime Bigot, and the Peasant Lighting a Candle with a Burning Candle, made by Angelo Inganni in 1850 and from the Fondazione Cariplo collection, and Still Life by Giorgio de Chirico.
At the heart of the exhibition is the theatrical artifice of light which is exalted by artists who are absolute protagonists of the sacred scene between the late 16th and 19th centuries, with Paolo Piazza’s Dead Christ Supported by Angels, one of the masterpieces arriving from the Banco BPM collection, Tiziano’s Deposition of Christ in the Sepulcher from the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana in Milan, and Mattia Preti’s Caravaggio-esque Christ at the Column from a private collection.
The tour continues with the section devoted to light in nature, admiring works by 19th-century artists such as Ippolito Caffi, Domenico Induno, and Angelo Morbelli, where there are also large canvases devoted to the Ossola landscape, exhibited for the first time; Panni al sole, one of Pellizza da Volpedo’s most important Divisionist paintings, held in a private collection; and Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s The Washerwomen at Cagnes.
Continuing on, a group of 19th- and 20th-century works with The Death of Cleopatra, painted by Achille Glisenti and housed at the Brescia Civic Museums, canvases by Gaetano Previati, Giovanni Sottocornola and Giuseppe Mascarini, and Relief to a makeshift backhand by Giuseppe Molteni.
Finally, a section of the exhibition is dedicated to the most revolutionary technological achievements, thus also celebrating the history of the Ossola Valley. In this area, ideal for the construction of hydroelectric power plants, some of the most beautiful and productive power plants were born, real gems of twentieth-century architecture that come alive in Enel Green Power’s archival material. Rare backlit photographs, small pieces of machinery, and a plastic model made of wooden slats make it possible to reconstruct the history of these buildings so important to Ossola and to the country’s energy production.