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Caravaggio, Van Dyck, Sassolino. Three masterpieces in Vicenza / 16th december 2023 – 4th february 2024

Basilica Palladiana, Vicenza
Piazza dei Signori, 36100 Vicenza
16th december 2023 - 4th february 2024

Knowledge and growth are endlessly intertwined in the flow of time, an incessant circular movement in which the phases of each person’s life alternate. This is the unseen suggestion that runs through the exhibition Tre capolavori a Vicenza (Three Masterpieces in Vicenza), curated by Guido Beltramini and Francesca Cappelletti, and proposed by the Mayor Giacomo Possamai as a tribute to the citizens of the city.

In the splendid setting of the Palladian Basilica, the public will be able to admire three masterpieces, each of which conveys a profound message: Saint Jerome by Caravaggio, The Four Ages of Man by Antoon Van Dyck and an unpublished work by the contemporary Vicenza artist Arcangelo Sassolino. No Memory Without Loss is the title of the work created especially for the event. Between the past and the present, the inexorable passage of time, fixed by the brushstrokes of the masters, resumes its flow in the changing forms of contemporary art.

The exhibition event will give everyone the opportunity to admire works of extraordinary beauty at close quarters and to take part in the many accompanying activities on the calendar, from Christmas and New Year’s Eve concerts to meetings with leading figures from the worlds of philosophy, art and science.

The Basilica Palladiana, which has already hosted famous paintings from major national and international museums, is now exhibiting for the first time one of the most important paintings in the world: St. Jerome by Michelangelo Merisi, known as Caravaggio, painted in 1606 and housed in the famous Borghese Gallery in Rome. The cold and warm tones of the canvas evoke the pursuit of opposites, life and death, past and future, and in general the inexorable flow of time.

The cyclical movement of time also reappears in one of the most important works in the Civic Museums of Vicenza, Antoon Van Dyck’s The Four Ages of Man, which depicts the seasons of existence: childhood, maturity and old age. The dialogue between the two masters will be enriched by the presence of the contemporary Arcangelo Sassolino, already present at the 2022 Venice Biennale for the Maltese Pavilion with a work related precisely to Caravaggio, The Beheading of St. John the Baptist. In that case, the dialogue between Sassolino and Caravaggio was at a distance. Here, on the contrary, the artist physically measures himself against the materiality of the painting in the Basilica. The three masterpieces take us into the mysterious and dreamlike dimension of time.