Arts & Entertainment

Paris’ Louvre to host masterpieces from Naples museum over next 7 months

By Lydia Hernandez Tellez

Paris, Jun 6 (EFE).- The Musee du Louvre and Italy’s Museo di Capodimonte have formed an unprecedented partnership that will allow dozens of major masterpieces from Naples to be exhibited at the French capital’s most iconic museum over the next seven months.

The goal of both institutions is for the Louvre’s Italian collections to share space with the works brought from Capodimonte, thus providing visitors with unique insight into Italian painting from the 15th to the 17th century.

Through the collaboration, around 60 masterpieces from the Neapolitan museum will be put on display at three different places in the Louvre between June 7, 2023, and Jan. 8, 2024: the Grande Galerie, the Salle de la Chapelle and the Salle de l’Horloge.

“It’s an exceptional project because we’re mixing one collection with the other. This had never been done before,” Sebastien Allard, director of the Louvre’s Department of Paintings and co-curator of the exhibition, told Efe.

Titian’s “Danae,” Giovanni Bellini’s “Transfiguration of Christ” and Caravaggio’s “The Flagellation of Christ” are some of the paintings from Capodimonte that are to be exhibited in the Grande Galerie, said that Italian museum’s director, Sylvain Bellenger, who added that displaying these works alongside important Italian paintings in the Louvre’s collection gives them a potency that they lack in Naples.

Since the Kingdom of Naples was controlled by Spain from the 16th and 18th centuries, some of the works temporarily relocated to Paris include those by Spanish-born artists who worked in that state.

“The most prestigious of them was Jusepe de Ribera, one of the great masters of the Neapolitan Baroque,” Allard said of an artist who was known as Lo Spagnoletto (“the Little Spaniard”).

The Salle de la Chapelle, meanwhile, will present the history of the Museo di Capodimonte, a former Bourbon palazzo that was built in the 18th century by King Charles VII of Naples and Sicily (later Charles III, king of Spain).

The Salle de l’Horloge, for its part, will showcase a collection of Neapolitan cartoons, or preparatory drawings, including one by Michelangelo and another by Raphael.

“They’re exceptional works that we see very rarely and that the Museo di Capodimonte does not generally loan out,” Allard said.

The “Naples in Paris” exhibition, which French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian counterpart Sergio Mattarella will visit on Wednesday, marks the start of a Neapolitan season in Paris over the next six months, including the inaugural Les Etes du Louvre festival from June 21 to July 20.

During that time, Cinema Paradiso Louvre will be screening three Italian-themed films and several pictures related to Naples, while the Parisian museum also will be hosting plays by Naples-born 20th-century Italian playwright Eduardo de Filippo.

Music also will be a big attraction at that open-air festival, highlighted by a classical music concert featuring works by Giacomo Puccini and Giovanni Gabrieli and a performance by Nu Genea Live Band, a Italian duo formed by Andrea Di Ceglie and Francesco Rago that combines disco and house music with tribal and African music influences. EFE


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