Saturday, January 29, 2011

The beauty of an angel

Melozzo da Forlì, "Angel playing the Viol", 1472-74, detached fresco, from the Vatican Museums

An exhibition in the central Italian town of Forlì until 12 June 2011 is about Melozzo da Forlì, the greatest exponent of “the Roman and Catholic way to the glory of visible beauty”

Melozzo’s angels are a byword for human beauty, bearing comparison in this respect with Raphael’s Madonnas. Italians tend to say: “beautiful as a Raphael Madonna”, “beautiful as an angel by Melozzo”.

Without Melozzo, the work of Raphael and Michelangelo would have never existed.” This statement by Antonio Paolucci, director of the Vatican Museums, sums up the impact this renaissance painter had on some of the greatest Italian painters. Melozzo da Forli has not gone down in history with the same amount of fame as other painters but his influence on art has been well recognized. Now, some of the artist's best known works in the Vatican Museums are leaving for his hometown.

The four paintings that are leaving are his famous angels, work that reveals Melozzo's precision in representing human beauty. Starting January 29, they will be on display in the Italian town of Forlì, for the exhibition “Melozzo from Forlì: the human beauty of Piero della Francesca and Raphael.” 

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