Inside the Painting: Antonello da Messina at the Palazzo Reale

Inside the Painting: Antonello da Messina at the Palazzo Reale
#Exhibitions

The famed Annunciata with its blue shawl and enigmatic gaze will welcome visitors to the large exhibition Milan is dedicating to Antonello da Messina - a unique opportunity to admire, all in one place, about half the works that made it to us in the present day from the brush of the great master of the 1400s. And while, over the centuries, earthquakes, floods, rips and other fatal carelessnesses have done in a fair part of the artist’s heritage, more recents years have seen his surviving paintings travel far and wide, among museums and collectors all over Europe and across the Atlantic. In the halls of the Palazzo Reale, masterpieces such as the Madonna con Bambino and San Giovanni Evangelista from Uffizi and the Annunciazione of Siracusa highlight, along with some remarkable rediscovered pieces, the creative originality of Antonello, which, with an unprecedented psychological sensibility, offered an admirable mastery of the breakthroughs of the time - the light and detail of Flemish painting, the studies on volume and space by Piero della Francesca, the latest discoveries from Veneto, from Provence and from Spain, all brought together in that crucible of culture that was the Sicily of the Aragons. And of course, there are the portraits, the apex of the master’s work, starting with the Unknown Sailor, whose cagey smile has spawned obscure legends. And yet another great innovation by Antonello da Messina is also evident throughout the exhibition - oil painting, a carrier of light and subtlety which had never been seen before, which the artist picked up from Flemish artists landing on the island and which, according to some historians, he exported as far as Venice.
Francesca Grego - © 2019 ARTE.it for Bulgari Hotel Milano