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Big success in Brazil for an exhibition on the depiction of Saint Francis of Assisi in art

One of the top 100 most visited exhibitions of 2018: an outstanding achievement marking the recent close of the touring exhibition at the FAAP University of Sao Paulo, entitled “Saint Francis in the Art of Italian Masters”, which had opened on 8 August 2018 at Casa Fiat in Belo Horizonte. A total of 215,000 visitors in the three venues of the Brazil tour (from 6 November to 27 January, it was also displayed at the Museum of Fine Arts in Rio de Janeiro), is a figure which has earned the exhibition a place in the rankings of “The Art Newspaper” in the category of Old Masters. 

The exhibition, funded by the Italian Embassy from the budget for the promotion of the image of Italy abroad, consisted of 20 works created between the 15th and 18th centuries, including works by Titian, Perugino, Orazio Gentileschi, Guido Reni, Guercino, Carracci and Cigoli, with the aim of retracing the iconography of Saint Francis of Assisi through these works. Paintings such as the “Nativity” by Nicola Filotesi, known as Cola dell’Amatrice, which was damaged by the earthquake in 2016, were exhibited for the first time since their restoration specifically for the purpose of the Brazil exhibition.

In addition to the success borne out by the number of visitors, the exhibition was supported by an intense and integrated programme of promotional activities and several parallel initiatives also aimed at schools and universities.

The initiative, which was widely acclaimed in the media, was organised in part thanks to the cooperation between the three museums which hosted the exhibition, the Instituto Brasileiro de Museus and the Brazilian Ministry of Culture, in addition to private sponsors from Italy.