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Lucio Fontana’s twoversions of the Pietà for the Duomo exhibited at the Diocesan Museum of Milan

An exclusive comparisonfrom 27 February to 5 May 2019 in Sala Fontana (Fontana Hall)

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The Carlo Maria Martini Diocesan Museum of Milan, under the patronage of the Archdiocese of Milan and in partnership with Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo, proposes an important historical and artistic initiative, precisely a close comparison between the two plaster versions of the predella depicting the Pietà and the actualscale model for the monumental altarpiece of the Assunta [Assumption]created by Lucio Fontana for Duomo di Milano.

It is a unique opportunity to admire these three works, which have been exceptionally brought together and, at the same time, to reflect on the Italian-Argentine artist’s creative path and his relationship with the sacred framework. The exhibition will be held until 5 May, 2019 in Sala Fontana [Fountain Hall] of the Diocesan Museum,whichalso counts some of the plaster scale models produced for the competition for the Fifth Door of the Duomo in 1950.

The Deposition of Christ: plaster scale model of the predella of the Altarpiece of the Assunta [Assumption], presented to Veneranda Fabbrica in 1954 and only recently exhibited to the public as it was lying at the Fabbrica's Marble Workers’ Site. The scene portrays the kneeling Virgin holding the body of the dead Christ partly lying on her, and seen from behind, with his head drooping backwards.
Restored with the contribution of the Italian Stock Exchange, the scale model was presented to the public for the first time during a workshop held on15 January 2019, related to the exhibition L'arte novissima. Lucio Fontana for the Duomo di Milano 1936-1956,which has just ended.
As a result of the emphasis on expressionism, this first version of the predella was probably discarded by the client. Fontana then created a second one, again in plaster, which was approved by the commission, and which became the predella of the plaster scale model of the altarpiece.It has been part of the collection of the Diocesan Museum of Milan since 2000.

The actual scale model of the Altarpiece of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin was created by Fontana in 1954-1955, following the competition announced in November 1950 by Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo in conjunction with the proclamation of the dogma of the Assumption of Mary by Pope Pius XII. The work depicts a monumental Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, at the foot of which there is a smaller predella of the Pietà.
After the submission of small scale models, some of which are now missing, Veneranda Fabbrica asked Fontana for a full-scale plaster model, which was to be reproduced in Candoglia marble for the altar of Sant'Agata in the Cathedral.

The work was never completed, and the project remained unfinished. However, a posthumous bronze casteversion was produced in 1972. It has now been temporarily placed on the altar of Sant'Agata at Duomo di Milano.

LUCIO FONTANA. THE TWO VERSIONS OF THE PIETÀ FOR DUOMO DI MILANO, Carlo Maria Martini Diocesan Museum (entrance from Piazza Sant'Eustorgio, 3)
27 February - 5 May 2019

Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, from 10.00 am to 6.00 pm. Closed on Mondays (except on public holidays).
Ticket office closes at 5.30 pm.

Carlo Maria Martini Diocesan Museum Ticket
Full price: € 8.00.
Reduced priceand groups: € 6.00.
Schools and Sunday schools: € 4.00

Cumulative tickets (Diocesan Museum, Museum of the Basilica of Sant'Eustorgio, Portinari Chapel, Early Christian Cemetery)
Full price: € 10.00.
Reduced price and groups: € 8.00.
Schools and Sunday schools: € 6.00.

Agreement with the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo di Milano
: €6.00, presenting a ticket for 'Grande Museo del Duomo' - 'Duomo Pass' - 'Culture Pass'. Likewise, holders of the Museo Diocesano ticket will receive adiscount on the purchase of a full price ticket Duomo Pass Lift or Stairs (10%); Fast-Track Pass (20%)*; Culture Pass (€ 4.00) or Museum only (€ 1.00) for the visit to the Complesso Monumentale del Duomo di Milano.

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