Liturgic art treasures of the diocesan cathedrals and museums


‘The objects of divine worship produced during the last few years, have attracted the atten-tion of a growing public of scholars and artlovers. These are composed of a vast number of church ornaments and vestments, paintings, furniture, fixed and movable church furnishings which represent a rich testimony of the history of religious rite. Even though very often these objects are examples of the most exquisite workmanship, this is not their most important quality. The most commonplace and modest of them has a documentary value all its own inasmuch as it illustrates the evolution of a community life that identifies itself and is reunited in the liturgy. Such a vast and miscellaneous wealth of objects requires careful loo-king after, threatened as it is from many different directions, not least by the dangers of gra-dual disuse, especially following a rigid interpretation of guideli-nes set down by the 2nd Vatican Council (‘Sacrosanctum Conci-lium’, December 4th, 1963) which relegated many of the objects outside the sphere of liturgical usage, condemning them indirectly to be ignored and forgot-ten. The Church has become deeply aware of this problem and, together with the state authorities entrusted with safeguarding the country’s artistic heritage, is doing all it can to ensure that this important aspect of its history does not un-dergo any further damage. In this context, the Diocesan Mu-seums have been created or reorganized and those orga-nisms known by the fascinating name of ‘Treasures of the Cathedrals’ have received new im-pulse. Both these institutions, besides looking after the objects in their care and carrying out rigorous historical research are also charged with informing the Christian community, with tea-ching its members to know and better appreciate objects so fun-damental to the faith and the devotion of past generations so that they do not become relega-ted to the immobile status of mere exhibits but continue to be an integral part of the liturgy as living symbols of profound, centuries-old spirituality. It is in this context that the Mee-ting exhibition is collocated. Over forty objects will be on show (tabernacles, chalices, ci-boriums, ostensoriums, reliqua-ries, crosses, banners, vestments, codices, etc.) from the various dioceses in Lombardy, Liguria, Veneto, Trentino-Alto Adige and the Marches. These objects, most of which span a period between the 15th and 18th centuries, in a number of ways represent the pastoral hi-story of the community to which they belong and are strongly eloquent signs of what Man, in contact with the Infinite, is ca-pable of expressing.’


20 Agosto 1989 - 27 Agosto 1989


Exhibitions Meeting Exhibitions