The Triumph of the senses. New light on Mattia and Gregorio Preti

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Show The Triumph of the Senses - Palazzo Barberini Roma

From 22 February to 16 June 2019 At Palazzo Barberini, headquarters National Gallery of Ancient Art. The exhibition, clean yes Alessandro Cosma e Yuri Primarosa, in 12 works investigates and reveals the close relationship of the two brothers arrived in Rome from Taverna (Catanzaro) just before the 1630, when the echo of the painting of Caravaggio pervaded the artistic productions era. The biggest Gregory, linked more to academic productions, and Mattia talented and fascinated by Caravaggio and Guercino and new developments lanfranchiani.

Exposure central element is the framework, presented for the first time to the public, by title


Allegory of the five senses

Made in the forties of the 1600, Apparently commissioned by Barberini, the work is recorded in 1686 an inventory drawn up to a year from Maffeo Barberini Junior death as "A framework for longo with different portraits ... hand Mattia Calabrese". Also the size (cm 174,5 per cm 363), the complexity of the content, the use of lapis lazuli and the only canvas that constitutes the support, second Yuri Primarosa, distinguish it from serial production often the workshop, confirming a prestigious commission. The attribution to only Mattia Preti reported in the inventory is due to greater fame that he enjoyed at the time compared to his brother, since it was ascertained the realization took place by both brothers.

The excellent restoration just realized by Giuseppe Mantella e Sante Guido, even it allows for the attribution of some specific figures one or the other, such as the violinist on the left to Mattia, or zone centrale Gregorio.

The Caravaggio's imprint is clear and the story of a packed tavern scene of characters (a man smoking his pipe, and a host of drinkers, Card Players, musicians, a painter, a fortune teller), It is enriched by a very interesting aspect allegorical. In fact going beyond the representation of the five senses is the theme of seduction by the same and the warning on the deviant effects.

The presence of the two lower positioned philosophers right; Heraclitus and Democritus crying laughing help us to better understand what surrounds us, in memory of the lesson of Aristotelian philosophy that defines the five senses as a means to perceive the external reality. In the opposite position in the upper left, the presence of a monkey that alludes to madness and dullness of mankind complete the allegorical message. Of particular note is the sense of sight symbolized by the painter to the center of the composition, presumably self-portrait Gregorio Preti.

The other works

The collaboration and the link between the two artist brothers is further discussed and analyzed by comparing the 'Allegory of the five senses and other works in both hands, come Pilate washing his hands of the 1640, from Palazzo Pallavicini Rospigliosi, Christ heals the dropsy of the 1630 from a private collection and Concert with good fortune scene dated between 1630 and the 1635 dall’Accademia Albertina of Turin. With the exception of Christ shown to the people (1645-1655) the only Gregorio Preti, the others are all young Mattia among which Flight from Troy e Denial of Peter, both made between the 1635 and the 1640, where even aware of the new Guercino and lanfranchiani addresses, shows a strong attraction to the themes and the style of Caravaggio, e Christ and the Cananea of the 1646-1647 dove, After a trip to Venice in 1643, shows the influence received from Veronese e Tintoretto. Two other paintings are the 'Apostle (1635 c.) from a private collection whose profile we find in St. Peter Christ and the Canaanite, and l ' Archimede (1635-1640) from Pinacoteca Larizza Varese, where Mattia Preti is dedicated to a reflection on the painting of Jusepe de Ribera. The exhibition is completed Head of Child with coral necklace (1645-1650), unfinished work that highlights the influence of the style of Giovanni Lanfranco, e St. Bonaventure (1637-1645).

In addition, the exhibition will be enriched by a very comprehensive catalog that collects the results of Luca Calenne, Thomas Borgogelli, Alessandro Cosma, Francesca Curti, Riccardo Lattuada, Gianni Papi, Yuri Primarosa and notes on the restoration and diagnostic surveys Sante Guido e Giuseppe Mantella. Topics also exposed a series of conferences in dates 16 April, 7 May, 21 May and 11 Always June at Palazzo Barberini. Extraordinary opportunity will be free guided tours of the curators scheduled every Wednesday at 17.00 (excluding the May 1).


Info, Timetable and prices

The Triumph of the senses. New light on Mattia and Gregorio Preti

From 22 February to 16 June 2019, Palazzo Barberini Via delle Quattro Fontane 13

Schedule: Tuesday to Sunday from 8.30 at 19.oo (The ticket office closes at 18)

Ticket: full 12 €, reduced 6 €, free for those eligible.

Info: tel. 06-4824184; email: