Sacred art in Emilia 1600-1700

The evocative group of works of a religious nature created in the XVII century in the Pilotta collection has been displayed to suggest their original placing above the altars of side chapelst in churches from where they were removed by Napoleonic requisitions. Some of them allow for an iconographical revisitation of the Sacred Conversation in the ambit of the baroque, already treated by Guercino in the Madonna and child in glory with Saints Francis and Clare. From the end of the XVII century is the wooden sculpted group by Lorenzo Haili where the figure of the Virgin and the announcing Angel, modelled with grace and monumentality, creates a scenographic effect with an emotional charge.

During the Duchy of Don Filippo of Borbone, stimulated by the official patronage, a number of Parma artists including Peroni and Callani, dedicated themselves to sacred art, specialising in a persuasive and edifying artistic language which is easily accessible, still rather tending to a mitigated baroque with elements of academic classicism. The Condemnation of St Lucia by Abbot Peroni, though still imbued with the style of Correggio and the elegant linearity of Parmigianino shows an opening towards a more classicist figurative tradition while conserving a certain devotional pathos, above all in the figure of the saint.

Another privileged interlocutor of the religious commissioning was Gaetano Callani, who realised in brief time The Glory of Blessed Nicola da Longobardi and Gaspare del Bono for the Minor Friars of the Church of San Francesco di Paola, today deconsacrated

Photo credits
Giovanni Hänninen

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