Michelangelo’s Excellent Adventure … in China – the Italian master’s art sets sail for the Orient

Full-scale bronze replicas of Michelangelo’s The Night, The Day, Dusk and Dawn, all produced in the bronze foundry Fonderia d’Arte Massimo Del Chiaro in Pietrasanta are the centerpiece of “Michelangelo in Cina” a major exhibition of the Renaissance master’s works. – Six sets of the four statues by “one of the greatest artist of all time” … 24 in all, will travel the four corners of the Land of the Dragon. Sponsored by the Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Shanghai and the Heng Yuan Xiang Museum, the bronze sculptures are based on some rare Renaissance plaster models which were lent for this project by Fondazione Accademia di Belle Arti “Pietro Vannucci” of Perugia.
The bronzes are replicas of sculptures in the Sagrestia Nuova of the Basilica of San Lorenzo, where they crown the sarcofagi of the Dead Medicis Giuliano and Lorenzo (Duke of Urbino). The originals are carved in the white Carrara marble that Michelangelo is known to have sought out in the “cave di marmo” in the Apuan hills overlooking Pietrasanta. All of the 24 bronze versions are made using the same techniques that were used in foundries in classical and Renaissance times.
Michelangelo’s work travels the world and confronts a new audience. China celebrates the “Italian Year in China” and Italy celebrates “Chinese Cultural Year.” Serious plans are touted as being underway to promote major cultural exchanges, and promote increased understanding between the two countries – or probably, more likely, just tourism!
There are some wonderful photos on Giacomo Donati’s blog… a behind the scenes look at the work in progress… well worth seeing!


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