Create Your Holiday

Carlo Bononi

The last dreamer of the Officina ferrarese

from 14/10/2017 to 07/01/2018

At Palazzo dei Diamanti, in the autumn of 2017, it will be possible to get to know a fascinating new chapter of the Ferrarese art: Carlo Bononi, a great master of the 17th Century painting, who has been considered very similar to Zurbáran and close to Caravaggio.

The exhibition is the first monographic dedicated to this artist; it has been promoted by Fondazione Ferrara Arte and organized by Giovanni Sassu, curator at the “Arte A ntica” Museums in Ferrara, and by Francesca Cappelletti, Art History professor at the University of Ferrara.
For many Centuries, Carlo Bononi remained in the shades, obscured by the memories of the magical Renaissance in Ferrara. Slowly, art historians have focused their studies on such an unique artist, who was able to explain the religious tensions of his age in a very personal and transcendent way. As an author of mythological scenes, as well as great altar panels and religious decorative cycles, Bononi elaborated a language deeply based on emotions. By using light effects and theatrical devices, he became one of the first Baroque Italian painters, as it is witnessed by the decorations at Santa Maria in Vado, realised around 1617.

Bononi was also a naturalist painter. In his works of art, he was able to make religious themes more concrete, identifying the holy images into concrete scenes, and turning holy charachers as the Saints and the Madonne into real and very recognizable people. Few artists have been able to combine male nudes with the catholic ideals of the Counter-Reformation: his saints and martyrs are still showing their powerful perfection.
This was very evident to his contemporaries’ eyes. Guido Reni, the “ Divine”, a few months after Carlo’s death, in 1632, described him as “a not ordinary painter”, with a “great knowledge in drawing and colourism”. Carlo Bononi’s drawing and powerful colour are waiting for you, to surprise and to seduce you, next autumn.

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