Raphael and the Domus Aurea. The invention of the grotesques
from 03-04-2020 to 24-01-2021
Raphael and the Domus Aurea. The invention of the grotesques on display in Rome from 24 March 2020 to January 2021 in the Domus Aurea.
On the occasion of the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the death of Raffaello Sanzio, an exhibition event dedicated to the theme of grotesque is planned in the spaces of the Domus Aurea (Sala Ottagona e ambienti limitrofi), with extraordinary interactive and multimedia equipment.
The project, treated by the Colosseum Archaeological Park and by Professor Vincenzo Farinella with the organization of Electa, has the ambition to describe the story and art of one of the most famous architectural complexes in the world, which has marked and influenced, with his discovery, the iconography of the Renaissance.
It is a story that begins around 1480, when some painters (Pinturicchio, Filippino Lippi and Signorelli among the first) descend into the cavities of the Oppio hill to go, by torchlight, to admire the painting decorations of the ancient Roman houses: they thought they were in front of the frescoes of the Thermal of Titus and instead they were discovering, without knowing it yet, the forgotten ruins of the enormous imperial palace that Nerone, after the disastrous fire of 64 AD. C., had wanted to build in the heart of Rome.
In 1496 the term "grotesque" appeared in print for the first time, probably coined by the same artists to define the different decorative systems of ancient painting re-discovered in Roman caves. Raphael, however, in the second decade of the sixteenth century, together with his trusted collaborator Giovanni da Udine, would have thoroughly understood the logic of these decorative systems, re-proposing them organically, thanks to his profound antiquarian skills, for the first time in Cardinal Bibbiena's Stufetta (1516 ) and then, always in the Bibbiena apartment in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican, in the Loggetta (1516-17), a true and proper general rehearsal for the great cycle of stuccos and old-style frescoes made in the Vatican Lodges (1517-1519). Just the virtual reconstruction, in 1: 1 scale, of Cardinal Bibbiena's Stufetta, conceived by Raphael after an intense study of Roman decorations and realized by his collaborators (Giulio Romano and Giovanni of Udine), a famous but substantially unknown environment (because located in an area of ??the Vatican palaces inaccessible to the general public), will constitute one of the fulcrums of this exhibition.
The age-old fortune of the grotesques, in particular in the interpretation provided by Raphael and his followers, can also be documented over the very long period: some of the greatest twentieth-century artists, such as Paul Klee and Alexander Calder, have in fact undergone the charm of the ancient and Renaissance grotesques . In particular, they will be the main representative of Surrealism (Victor Brauner, Salvador Dalý, Max Ernst, Joan Miro, Yves Tanguy), due to the fantastic, irrational, substantially unrealistic nature of this decorative system, will be seduced by "magic art" of the grotesques, proposing once again, in a dreamlike and Freudian key, those inventions capable of scandalizing the taste of the classicists and the false conscience of the moralists.
The design proposal freely draws inspiration from the use of the Renaissance perspective and in particular of the "broken through", that is, the pictorial method that simulates the opening of a room in the architectural space.
The exhibition is in fact characterized by metaphorical openings of walls and windows, veiled scenes that does not hide the suggestive architecture of the Domus Aurea, but on the contrary enrich the environment with animated surfaces with a see-not-see effect.
Mise-Ó-distance with ever-changing forms are the support of digital story-narrative, for an engaging story where the visitor is an active part in the development of the story.
The multimedia language alternates between immersive video-mapp that reconstruct Raphael's works, entertainment, digital scenographies that tell anecdotes about the artists of the '500, generative and morphing art, archives and digital collages of grotesque and surrealist-inspired decorative elements.
The visitor uses the contents in a free path between the different environments, whose interaction is designed to be intuitive and immediate, characterized by a consistency of gestures and elegant interactive consoles perfectly integrated with the exhibit, which allow the visitor to experience the experience without mediation.