Whether illuminated by the glow of a candle or made even brighter by the electric revolution, art has always attached great importance to light.
At the Musei civici "Gian Giacomo Galletti" in Palazzo San Francesco in Domodossola an exhibition retraces the theme of light in art between the seventeenth and twentieth centuries. The itinerary, curated by Antonio D'Amico and Federico Troletti, with the patronage of the Piedmont Region and realised by the Municipality of Domodossola together with the renewed collaboration with the Angela Paola Ruminelli Foundation and the Bagatti Valsecchi Museum in Milan, reviews the artists who, from Tiziano to Van Dyck, from Ippolito Caffi to Renoir, between Italy and Flanders, have immortalised the great theatre of light on canvas.
The itinerary will host forty-five works set up in an innovative light path that will guide the visitor in a guided "meditation", allowing him to immerse himself in a fifth stage where the light will be the master.
The first section will be dedicated to "candlelight" paintings, fascinating genre scenes where the focus is entirely on the source of light emitted by candles or embers depicted on canvas by seventeenth-century Flemish artists such as Gherardo delle Notti, Adam de Coster and Trophime Bigot. There will also be room for the amazing Farmer lighting a candle with a burning firebrand, made by Angelo Inganni in 1850 and on loan from the collection of the Fondazione Cariplo.
After passing a Still Life by Giorgio de Chirico, the visitor slides towards the heart of the exhibition. At the heart of the itinerary is the theatrical artifice of light that intensifies the pathos of the stories described by the brushes of the sacred scene between the late sixteenth and nineteenth centuries. The Dead Christ supported by the angels by Paolo Piazza from the Banco BPM collection will talk with the Deposition of Christ in the sepulchre by Titian, from the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana in Milan, and with the Christ at the Column by Mattia Preti from the private collection.
The light in nature, of the lake and mountain landscape with the alternation of the seasons is reflected in the canvases of Ippolito Caffi, Domenico Induno and Angelo Morbelli, but also in the paintings dedicated to the Ossola landscape, exhibited for the first time. Cloths in the sun by Pelizza da Volpedo, kept in private collection, will be alongside The laundries at Cagnes by Pierre Auguste Renoir. The visitor will be struck by the dramatic light of The Death of Cleopatra by Achille Glisenti from the Musei Civici in Brescia, and by the emotion-dense glow of paintings by Previati, Giovanni Sottocornola and Giuseppe Mascarini, to the point of sinking the gaze into La derelitta by Giuseppe Molteni, where light takes on hidden meanings.
Finally, the exhibition devotes a section to the most revolutionary technological achievements, partly linked to the history of Val d'Ossola, whose hydroelectric power stations live again in the archives of Enel Green Power, partner of the exhibition.