The rediscovery of Torquato Tasso starts in Umbria
For the birth of a Tasso library in San Gemini: first acquisitions and research perspectives
The first of a series of meetings dedicated to the theme of Gerusalemme Liberata was held in San Gemini (Terni) on Friday, May 19. Organized by the Tacconi-Ottelio Group, the seminar, which featured speakers Maria Celeste Cola, Amnon Dion and Giorgio Baratti, presented the outlines of a project for the study and valorization of Tasso’s work that, starting from San Gemini and the Jerusalem cycle that decorates the gallery on the piano nobile of Palazzo Santacroce, aims to extend the invitation to all those Italian institutions, both public and private, that preserve cycles of frescoes or series of paintings inspired by the Tasso poem. The recent purchase by the Tacconi- Ottelio Group of an already conspicuous number of ancient editions of Jerusalem represents a further incentive to study and collaborate with all those institutions of relevant book value that preserve Tasso’s editions; from the Angelo Mai Library in Bergamo where, as is well known, the center for Tasso studies that possesses the richest collection of ancient editions is located to the libraries of Ferrara, Mantua and Sorrento.
With the aim of creating a network of Tasso places in Italy, the project aims to carry out a series of meetings with the curators and conservators of extraordinary works scattered throughout Italy; from Villa Valmarana ai Nani near Vicenza, to Palazzo Bentivoglio in Gualtieri, up to Genoa, Florence, Rome, Naples and Conversano in the province of Bari. Equal attention will be given in future meetings to historians of literature, music and theater with the idea of delving into the theme in its many artistic experiences between the seventeenth and twentieth centuries; from the celebrated set to music of the Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda by Claudio Monteverdi in 1624 commissioned by Girolamo Mocenigo on the occasion of the Carnival of that year to Lully, Rossini and Dvorak.
The meeting was also an opportunity to show the public the folio edition of Jerusalem illustrated by Giovan Battista Piazzetta that came out in Venice for the types of Giovan Battista Albrizzi in 1745 and was a fundamental source of inspiration for the main artists of the lagoon city in particular for Giovan Battista Tiepolo who was inspired by the poem in his works in Vicenza as well as in Venice, but also for numerous other 18th-century Italian painters and for most 18th-century cycles including the one in the Corsini palace in Rome painted in immense grass juices by Ginesio del Barba.
Alongside Maria Celeste Cola was Amnon Dor, a collector of ancient maps and charts with special reference to the Holy Land who punctually illustrated and elucidated the places, architectures and cities that form the backdrop for both the illustrated editions of Jerusalem, and first and foremost the 1590 edition by Bernardo Castello, as much as to the frescoes in the gallery of the Santacroce palace to which the commissioner entrusted in 1739 the role of self-representation as a “Christian” warrior at the side of the pontiff and new feudal lord of San Gemini.
Called to close the meeting was Milanese antiquarian Giorgio Baratti, who, starting from an analysis of the situation of the art market in modern times, noted the importance of collecting drawings, engravings and ancient books in the contemporary world.
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Palazzo Santacroce – Grand Hotel San Gemini Piazza Duomo, 4 – San Gemini (Terni)
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