From this week it is again possible to admire the painting Portrait of Gonfaloniere by Artemisia Gentileschi, one of the major masterpieces of the museum and a work of significant importance in the artist’s artistic production.
The painting returns to be exhibited in the museum located in Palazzo d’Accursio, after the loan granted to the National Gallery in London for the organization of the Artemisia exhibition, the first major monographic dedicated to the Italian painter in Great Britain, which opened on 3 October to end on January 24, 2021 with unanimous appreciation from critics and audiences.
Acquired by the Municipality of Bologna in 1910 by inheritance of Agostino Sieri Pepoli, the work can be admired in Room 1 of the exhibition itinerary, where large seventeenth-century canvases depicting the faces of gentlemen and ladies of ancient families are collected.
The work was carried out in 1622, as evidenced by the handwritten signature once legible on the back of the canvas, before its re-lining: ARTEMISIA GENTILESCA FACIEBAT ROMAE 1622. The oil painting, one of the few by the painter to be dated, is a fundamental document of the his portraiture activity, praised by his contemporaries but not otherwise evidenced by certain works.
The identity of the pontifical gonfalonier portrayed in full figure is unknown. He sports elegant military armor beautifully enhanced by the vibrant luminous quality of the pictorial fabric. The setting of the painting corresponds to the tried and tested typology of the full-length stately portrait introduced by Titian, aimed at commemorating the social and political role of the person depicted through the attributes of rank. In spite of this traditional scheme, the liveliness and psychological penetration of the portrait, the bold cut of light with a clear Caravaggesque imprint, the virtuosity in the rendering of the different materials, make this painting a masterpiece of extraordinary modernity, among the greatest examples of portraiture Italian in the seventeenth century.
From this week there is another news concerning the Municipal Art Collections. Thanks to the collaboration of the Bologna Museums Institution with the Municipality of Bologna, Bologna Welcome, Metropolitan Bologna Tourist Destination and the Bologna Chamber of Commerce, it will be possible to access the museum at the same time as visiting the Clock Tower of Palazzo d’Accursio, open to the public from today, Tuesday 9 February 2021, in a single highly suggestive integrated itinerary.
For more information on the methods and costs of the visit, please refer to the website www.bolognawelcome.it.