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Bernini`s Medusa comes to Moscow


The head of Medusa by genius baroque sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini is the next in line in a series of mono-displays of Italian artistic masterpieces in Moscow.

On Wednesday, the sculpture from the Capitoline Museum in Rome was solemnly unveiled at the Italian Embassy in Moscow. Starting from the 2nd of June and continuing till the end of the month, it will be displayed at the State Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts.

The bust, created between 1635-1645, will be the next in a series of priceless masterpieces of Italian art visiting Moscow . Other features include "Lady with a unicorn" by Raphael Santi and Sandro Botticelli`s "Pallas and Centaur." "Bernini was a leading Baroque architect in his home city of Rome.

"Unfortunately, we couldn`t bring a whole palace here, thus we decided to bring a sculpture," the Italian Ambassador in Russia Antonio Zanardi Landi explained. The Bust of Medusa was thought by Bernini to be a sophisticated Baroque metaphor on the power of sculpture and the value of the sculptor.

"It required extraordinary imagination to make such a refined choice and bring [to Moscow] this artwork - after all, it holds the essence of baroque," the director of the Pushkin Museum Irina Antonova is quoted by RIA Novosti as saying about the work done by the organizers of the Russia-Italy cross-cultural year.

"All the magnificent architectural symphony of Rome is concentrated in this small head," she added.

"One of the main baroque features is the idea of change, transformation, the formation of something new. In this case, the transformation of a suffering young maiden who was turned into stone as a punishment for her sins. The same theme arises in Bernini`s "Apollo and Dafne: "It is the theme of transformaing material into a sculpture," Antonova said.

The Minister of Cultural Heritage and Activities Giancarlo Galan has noticed that the decision to include Medusa in the program of 550 events of the Year of Italy in Russia was carefully considered."

There`s a lot of Tintoretto and Canaletto, Quattrocento e Seicento in the Russian museums, but there`s no Bernini. We have tried to fill this gap," the Minister said.

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18.09.2017
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