Singing Your praises. Wooden works by Fra’ Giovanni da Verona in Santa Maria in Organo
Curated by Associazione Rivela, Ermanno Benetti, Giovanni Bresadola, Roberto Brun, Giambattista Dal Castello, Alessandra Fallanca, Raffaella Grossato, Laura Miceli.
With the collaboration of the Olivetan Benedictine Monks, Pier Luigi Bagatin, Luciano
In this exhibition visitors will be able to discover the olivetan benedictine monk Fra Giovanni da Verona (who lived between the end of the XV and the beginning of the XVI century) right in his own town, i.e. in the church of Santa Maria in Organo, where we find the choir and sacristy described by Giorgio Vasari as “the most beautiful sacristy in Italy”. We know very little about Fra Giovanni da Verona. His legacy consists of no written texts, as he dedicated all his life to the creation of works of art reflecting his strong faith in the Glory of God. His main works were made with wood, as he wanted to enable everyone – both his confrères during Mass and anyone who would enjoy the beauty of his works – to experience the same universality of Christian salvation he himself had experienced through prayer and work (ora et labora). He claims it through his own signature: “R.do in Xo p.f. Joai.mo” (to the Reverend in Christ father Fra Giovanni, monk). Fra’ Giovanni uses the tension of Humanism to reaffirm the importance of man, aware of the fact that God represents no restriction to the realization of man, but He is the full realization of all expressions of mankind. This is the perspective he always adopted in achieving all his great artistic innovations, such as depth and perspective in images.
As Pope Benedict XVI once said: «We need men whose intellect is enlightened by the light of God, men whose hearts are opened by God, so that their intellect can speak to the intellect of others and their hearts can open the hearts of others. It is only by means of men who have been touched by God that God can return to be with mankind».