2023 Exhibition Season Programme
A year of exhibitions, events and initiatives focusing on Europe as the homeland of a cultural and artistic practice capable of safeguarding the value of freedom.
Mantova: l’Europa delle città (Mantova: the Europe of Cities) is the title given to the 2023 exhibition season developed by Fondazione Palazzo Te. From March 24th, 2023, until January 7th, 2024, the programme will explore the role of the city of Mantua in the construction of the ideals and values of the modern European society, from the 16th century onward.
Produced in collaboration with the Municipality of Mantua and Museo Civico di Palazzo Te, the programme focuses on the birth and consolidation of a common European sense, meant as the expression of scientific, historical and philosophical intents, connoting different members states from the earliest times. From classical culture to modern age, the history of Europe has been marked by transformations necessary to keep up with the developments of national and supranational states, and with the cultural policies of successive governments.
“In those years, cultural foundations for a political practice that still operates today were formed in the difficult coexistence of the state of power and the rule of law, religion and secularism, economic mobilization, prosperity and poverty, war and peace. A practice of reason and freedom” explains Stefano Baia Curioni, director of Fondazione Palazzo Te: “To this practice of freedom, which is political, economic, cultural and artistic, Fondazione Palazzo Te dedicates its 2023 programming”
The programme begins on March 24th with the dossier exhibition L’imperatore e il Duca. Carlo V a Mantova (The Emperor and the Duke. Charles V in Mantua) curated by Marsel Grosso and Daniela Sogliani, which – until June 25th, 2023 – presents the Portrait of Charles V with the Dog executed by Jakob Seisenegger in 1532 and lent by the Kunsthistorisches Museum of Vienna, in dialogue with the Portrait of Federico II Gonzaga by Titian in a 1:1 reproduction, made by Factum Foundation from a high-resolution scan of the work housed at the Prado Museum in Madrid.
Chronicles recount that Charles V arrived in Mantuan territory on March 24th, 1530, and entered the city with great celebrations, staying there for the following 25 days; a single director was commissioned to devise the scenery for the event: Giulio Romano. The journey constituted a fundamental moment of synthesis between diplomacy, military strategy and cultural policy in which the alliance between Charles V and Federico II Gonzaga became art.
On display are letters from the State Archives of Mantua, an engraving by Giovanni Britto from the Istituto Centrale per la Grafica in Rome depicting Charles V in an armor, the Chronicle of the Emperor’s Journey to Italy from the University Library of Pavia, and a drawing from Giulio Romano’s workshop for triumphal apparatus.
The 2023 programme continues on October 7th, with the major autumn exhibition Lo sguardo di Rubens su Palazzo Te. Pittura, trasformazione e libertà (Rubens’ gaze on Palazzo Te. Painting, Transformation and Freedom) curated by Raffaella Morselli and promoted in collaboration with Museo di Palazzo Ducale in Mantua and Galleria Borghese in Rome, as part of the initiative Rubens! La nascita di una pittura europea (Rubens! The Birth of a European Painting).
The exhibition, open until January 7th, 2024, illustrates the Flemish artist’s journey by showing how much Renaissance suggestions elaborated in his Mantuan and Italian years continued, evolving, in his maturity paintings, remaining as an intellectual and artistic legacy to his students.
The works exhibited in the rooms of Palazzo Te highlight the dialogue with the myths, the interpretation of Giulio Romano, and the never-ending syntony with the Renaissance and mythological fable: in fact, it is here that Rubens transformed his world into a universal language capable of speaking to all the courts of Europe.
This important project is possible thanks to the collaboration of prestigious Italian and international museums and a scientific committee composed of scholars Raffaella Morselli, Sabine van Sprang, Betsy Wieseman, Bert Watteeuw, Francesca Cappelletti and Stefano L’Occaso.
The collaboration between Fondazione Palazzo Te and Factum Foundation – an international leader in the application of new technologies to cultural heritage conservation and in museographic innovation – continues in 2023 with the creation of two facsimiles for the exhibitions of 2023 programme. The original works – Titian’s Portrait of Frederick II Gonzaga housed at the Prado Museum and Rubens’ painting The Ecstasy of Gregory the Great, for the fall exhibition – were digitized at very high resolution, making visually perfect copies in every detail, in collaboration with the institutions.
Fondazione Palazzo Te’s cultural programming has always been based on scientific research and public restitution, and this year again presents two important opportunities for in-depth study:
on Thursday, May 30th, 2023, Rubens’ Gaze on Giulio Romano, a first webinar held by curator Raffaella Morselli with talks by numerous scholars, anticipating the contents of the fall exhibition;
from June 6th to July 7th, 2023, For a Europe of Culture, a cycle of five online conferences curated by Stefano Baia Curioni and Cristina Loglio featuring international guests, leading scholars and policymakers on the theme of Europe, home of a cultural and artistic practice capable of guarding the value of freedom.
The online conferences cycle For a Europe of Culture opens the fourth edition of the summer school Scuola di Palazzo Te, articulated in the modules Fare Arte (Making Art), Studiare Arte (Studying Art) and Pensare Arte (Thinking Art), with the involvement of scholars Guido Rebecchini, Stefania Gerevini, and choreographer Virgilio Sieni.
Alongside the research, from March to September, the Foundation offers the public, in collaboration with Amici di Palazzo Te and local cultural associations, a rich public program of more than thirty music, dance and theater events. There is no shortage of new meetings and talks in the fall season!
The exhibition season Mantova e l’Europa delle città (Mantua and the Europe of Cities) is promoted by the Municipality of Mantua, produced and organized by Palazzo Te, with the contribution of Fondazione Banca Agricola Mantovana, and in synergy with Mantova città d’arte e di cultura.