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Italian Baroque feasts ‘revamped’ in Lisbon

The “Festa Barocca” (“Baroque Feast”) exhibition, a journey through the protocol milestones of old feasts held at Italian Royal Courts, which began in the Renaissance and became even more flamboyant during the Baroque period, will open at Lisbon’s Palacio Nacional da Ajuda on Thursday. The exhibition narrates Italian culture in a homage to Portugal, being set up in a Palace that is the very symbol of Portuguese and Italian culture. Organised by the ‘Invito a Corte’ Cultural Association and promoted by the Italian Embassy and the Italian Cultural Institute in Lisbon, the exhibition illustrates and gives a different representation of Italian history, art and culture, through the portrayal of the lavish costumes and ambience found in Italian Courts in the Baroque period.   

Precious Baroque fabrics, opulent ceremonial dresses for important feasts at the Italian Court and the decorations designed for these occasions can now only be seen through the few and deteriorated original pieces kept in a small number of museums and collections. The idea of the exhibition is therefore to recreate for the public part of a past that no longer exists and can only be imagined through paintings.  

It is precisely by drawing inspiration from famous portraits that, starting from 1989, a team of historians, researchers, designers, weavers, dress-makers, embroiders and metalwork artists spent years working on the meticulous reconstruction of dresses and fabrics with a view to offering modern-day visitors an exciting experience of Italian Courts in the Baroque period. The curator and general coordinator of the exhibition is Fausto Fornasari and it is organised by King Studio and Invito a Corte.