Dante, from Naples to Florence in the shell of a nut: the Comedy in miniature

Dante, from Naples to Florence in the shell of a nut: the Comedy in miniature

November 14, 2022 – 3.39 pm

On Wednesday at the Certosa the sculptures of Antonio Maria Esposito will be exhibited on the occasion of the presentation of two volumes published by Olschki

from Catherine Ruggi of Aragon

There are no Paolo and Francesca. There is no Count Ugolino. all focused on the pilgrim’s journey through the underworld the Divine Comedy by Don Antonio Maria Esposito (1917-2006): a masterpiece of miniature, made in 42 walnut shells, which arrives in Florence for the first time. On Wednesday from 5 to 8 pm, in the Certosa del Galluzzo, a preview with free admission of the first exhibition outside Campania of micro-sculptures proposing another Comedy, winking on one side at the illuminated manuscripts (in which there are no great encounters, on which the great illustrators then concentrated) and on the other to the works of Dor, Rodin and Giacometti. To see Dante small and frightened like Little Red Riding Hood in the woods and then enter the circles of Hell with himto overcome Purgatory and arrive in Paradise it is necessary to have a magnifying glass and a torch, according to the methodology tested by the Museodivino which in Naples houses the two extraordinary works to which he dedicated himself throughout his life, as a spiritual exercise of patience in the solitude of his studio , the priest of Castellammare di Stabia: the Divine Comedy, in fact, and 33 micro-cribs made in tiny containers by sculpting droplets of oil paint and using grains of pear pulp for the heads.

We will bring to the Certosa di Firenze, among others, what is perhaps the smallest nativity scene in the world, enclosed in a 33 mm hemp seed, and the largest (with 50 characters in a coconut), some illustrations of the Comedy, including the only one dedicated to Paradise. It is also the first work of Don Antonio: a crib created inside a medicine box on the occasion of the death of his mother, which testifies to the passage from pain for loss to gratitude, explains Silvia Corsi Andreani, director of the Museodivino and editor of the book La Divina Comedy by AntonioMaria Esposito between miniature, sculpture and spirituality, with photographs by Giorgio Cossu, which is presented on Wednesday together with Il Santo Natale in the novena by Alfonso Maria de’ Liguori and in the cribs by Antonio Maria Esposito curated by Giacomo Jori and Laura Quadri. The Florentine publisher Leo S. Olschki first published the re-edition of the Novenas of the great theologian and orator, considered with Vico one of the main figures of the Neapolitan 18th century, accompanied by the not simple story on pages of the three-dimensional works of Don Antonio: a strongly Neapolitan (although Don Antonio’s Nativities, which often coincide with the Adoration of the Magi, depart from the tradition of the Neapolitan nativity scene starting with the setting in the Holy Land, in the year 0), with which we have promoted the permanent exhibition at the Museodivino, launched in November 2019, and resumed in September with daily opening. the natural result – he continues – to continue the collaboration for the catalog created with the contribution of the Committee for the Dantesque celebrations of 2021. The debut in Florence with a first day of exhibition is therefore important, which we hope will be followed by a longer stay in 2023. It will be an opportunity to linger in the presence of the publisher Daniele Olschki, on miniature, sculpture and spirituality with the art historian Marco Collareta (University of Pisa), the ethnophotographer Giorgio Cossu, the Italianist Carlo Ossola (Collge de France), La Vagner (Sophia Project Association. Women Towards Beauty).

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November 14, 2022 | 3:39pm

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