• 30 Luglio 2021 08:21

The Art of Memory

A great monuments eventually restored.

Location of the Italian capital, must for any traveler seven-nineteenth-century learning experience for poets and painters who recognize the emblematic image of medieval civilization, the Monumental Cemetery has seen his fortune in the fog over the last century, struck depletion of an objective which only now is finishing remedy, after long years of restoration.
The twentieth century was not a happy fact for this unique building, designed in 1277, midway between the cloister and church-shrine, discovered in the nave to accommodate the "holy land" brought from Palestine at the time of the second crusade in this precious, holy ground – a place, in the words of the Archbishop of time, large and decorous, secluded and closed – had to be admitted to the sarcophagi of Roman, Pisan reused as burial for distinguished and hitherto scattered around the Cathedral, while under the floor of the aisles (or, if you will, in the corridors of the cloister) could open up more humble graves.
Building and, for the most part, decoration, take place in the fourteenth century, the last great century of Pisa before its submission to Florence: great scenes follow one another on the walls painted to illustrate the life and death, earthly and eternal, from painted sermons best artists of the moment (not least that Buffalmacco friend of Boccaccio and hilarious stories of his character), scenes for the eye of the body and mind in association with the assonance and sermons recited by Domenico Ride.
He then added, at the hands of the best artists of the time, the Lives of the Saints Pisani and the Stories of the Old Testament, completed in the next century by Benozzo Gozzoli.
In the sixteenth century became a place of choice for the tombs of the most distinguished professors of Pisano (but also of members of the Medici family), the building is set to become the pantheon of memories of Pisa: the individuals and families, but also of the glorious past classical and medieval city.
The result is the vocation of the museum Cemetery: its walls are covered in Roman inscriptions, sarcophagi, burials now seen no longer as precious but as documents of history and art, are moved from the "field" to the corridors and at the beginning of the nineteenth century, the building was chosen to host one of the first public museums in Europe ordinatovi by its curator, Carlo Lasinio. The ancient sculptures, medieval and modern, arranged in the corridors (now called "galleries") continued to live throughout the nineteenth century with the tombs, however, reserved for "great spirits", to create a place dedicated to the patriotic celebration and together with meditation on death as a loss not only private but also social and political – and the fading glories of ancient civilizations.
The Cemetery, therefore, for this unique blend of styles and eras, for the melancholy charm that comes from his own vocation cemetery, is enjoying a growing success: there is in his frescoes, with Coleridge, "the majestic rise of the painting "Leo Klenz, architect of Louis of Bavaria, like the Parthenon embodies the Greek civilization, so the cemetery is a symbol of the Italian.
But the European myth is broken at the beginning of the twentieth century: first, a real storm museological (the creation of a Museum of the nucleus involves the curtailment of ordinatovi Lasinio, while the excellent gallery of nineteenth-century sculpture is removed to restore the purity of the medieval of the monument), then by the war of 1944, with the burning of the roof, the campaigns of detachment of the frescoes and their restoration breath test and, since the eighties, the recurrence of the degradation that causes the hospitalization of the distinguished patients.
Today the cemetery is being revived: while the celebrated frescoes of his preparatory drawings can be seen in the museum dedicated to them, the archaeological collections gathered by the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo Lasinio and medieval sculptures at the National Museum of S. Matthew, behind the bare marble wall where the entrance the visitor will notice again, and restored, nineteenth-century sculptures, sarcophagi and monuments reconstructed, relocated the first frescoes on the walls: found a picture that approaches the light fortune and the deeper meaning of this monument in the history of art and European culture.

Clara Baracchini

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