Vita Gazette

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The work of Gudo Reni for the first time at Villa Monastero

Vita gazette – If you happen to be in Como, the land of fairy tales, don’t forget to visit Varenna, one of the small and pretty villages of the east. An extraordinary 16th-century painting by the Bolognese painter Gudo Reni awaits its visitors at the magnificent Villa Monastero.

Apollo and Aurora

It looks like a tapestry but it is not. This is the rare and unpublished fake tapestry painting depicting the chariot of Apollo and Aurora for the first time exhibited to the public in Villa Monastero in Varenna. The work is taken from the homonymous fresco by the Bolognese painter Guido Reni, who lived between 1575 and 1642, made in 1614 on the ceiling of the Casino Pallavicini Rospigliosi in Rome, decorated with reliefs of Roman sarcophagi of the II and III centuries, linked to the theme of death and of love, erected on the ruins of the Baths of Constantine by Cardinal Scipione Borghese, protector of Caravaggio and nephew of Pope Paul V.  Apollo driving the golden chariot of the sun, pulled by four horses that hover in the air, preceded by Aurora chasing away the darkness, flanked by a putto with a burning flame that illuminates the scene and represents twilight, while the hours’ dance around the Sun.

Among the masterpieces of Roman Classicism of the Baroque era

The fresco by this extraordinary Bolognese artist, whose 380th anniversary of his death occurs, working in Rome in the decoration of the Vatican palaces, in the Marches, Mantua and in Naples, is considered one of the masterpieces of Roman Classicism of the Baroque era.

The Varenna version

The Varenna version is an interesting transposition of the 19th century made as a fake tapestry on canvas of impressive dimensions of over 3 meters in length, corresponding to the original, both in the subject and in the arrangement of the characters, to the original.

The work, relocated in the entrance hall of the staircase of Villa Monastero, was located in another area not accessible to visitors. Valuable expression of such a well-known artefact on Lake Como, it aims to enhance the museum that the State of Lecco continually supports.

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