Five hundred years ago, Italian merchants in Lisbon rebuilt the Church of Nossa Senhora do Loreto, better known as the Italian Church, and the travelling exhibition ‘Tesserae of Hope’ is now in Lisbon to celebrate the anniversary. The exhibition displays a collection of the extraordinary and finely and artistically handcrafted creations of the time to dress the wooden simulacra present on the altars of many Italian churches, alternatively focusing on particular places and religious shrines.
The exhibition will be hosted at the Museo di São Roque of Lisbon from 16 March to 19 May 2019 and will present nine gowns created for the Madonna of Loreto originating from the province of Frosinone, and especially from the Benedictine monastery of Sant’Andrea in Arpino, from the churches of Santa Restituta in Sora, of San Barbato in Casalattico, of Santa Maria and San Marcello in San Donato Val Comino and of Santo Stefano Protomartire – Sanctuary of the Madonna of Loreto in Fontana Liri.
The exhibition is organised by the Superintendence for Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape of the provinces of Frosinone, Latina and Rieti in partnership with the Colosseum Archaeological Park, the Italian Embassy and the Italian Cultural Institute in Lisbon and the Santa Casa de Misericórdia.
As Stefano Gizzi, the interim Superintendent, said: “Tesserae of Hope means that, through an ancient trade – that of weavers – that materialises in the making of fabrics or clothes but conceptually recalls a mission to establish and interweave ties, relations with men and the world, we open to another dimension, in which the expectations of humankind no longer appear to be achievable goals.”