Exhibition | Precious Instruments, Distinguished Figures

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on July 17, 2018

Antonio Berti, Psaltery made for Maria Teresa Strozzi (1682–1748).

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Now on view at the Palace Venaria, near Turin:

Precious Instruments, Distinguished Figures: Music and Luthiery between the 17th and 20th Centuries in Europe
Venaria Reale, Torino, 31 May — 30 September 2018

Curated by Giovanni Accornero

The exhibition illustrates and compares four centuries of luthiery and collections, music and musicians, nobility and patronage.

Violins, violas, cellos, 5-course guitars, mandolins, lyre-guitar and psalteries made by master luthiers who were recognized and appreciated worldwide: Stradivari, Guarneri ‘del Gesù’, Amati, Guadagnini, Vinaccia, Fabricatore, Berti and Battaglia, Nadermann, Torres e Hauser—these were the fundamental Italian and European luthiers, an artistic craft that is inextricably connected the world over to the culture of ‘music making’. Precious musical instruments that on this ambitious stage move beyond craftsmanship to become genuine works of art.

It is a stimulating display that outlines a socio-cultural and artistic framework through a historical overview of around thirty musical instruments, most of which are exhibited for the first time since they are part of private collections. The instruments once belonged to famous figures: from exceptional musicians like Gaetano Pugnani, Niccolò Paganini, Charles Dancla, Yehudy Menuhin, Mauro Giuliani, Ramon Montoya, Andrés Segovia, Ida Presti, to major historical figures like the Emperor Leopold I of Habsburg, the Empress Maria Theresa of Naples and Sicily, princess Maria Teresa Strozzi, count Cozio di Salabue, countess Maria Beatrice Barbiano di Belgioioso Dal Pozzo della Cisterna, duchess Marie-Thérèse Charlotte of France, and queen Margherita of Savoy.

The exhibition is also an opportunity to familiarize the general public with the luthiery tradition of Turin that starting in the late 18th century, gained momentum (as the production in Cremona started to wane), and established itself on the European scene, a preeminence that remained unchanged for more than a century. It is a chance to rediscover the primacy of this region in yet another cultural sector.

Exhibition organized by: Consorzio Residenze Reali Sabaude in collaboration with the publishing house Edizioni Il Salabue

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