GUERCINO IN PIACENZA AND THE FRESCOES HOUSED IN THE CATHEDRAL
Piacenza is the entrance door of the Emilia, and is the city where you can admire one of the masterpieces painted by Guercino.
Fortresses, castles and villages are the setting of a very old city, which needs to be discovered little by little.
The Romans chose this territory of the Po valley to build a fortification and to establish a place of trade, which in the Middle Ages became an important economic centre, and later an important cultural centre.
To discover Piacenza you’d better start from the Cathedral, founded in the Middle Ages, which shows power and is a harmonious mixture of Gothic and Renaissance styles. But Guercino’s frescoes in Piacenza will draw your attention.
In Piacenza Guercino left one of the most important circles of paintings of Italian 17th century.
Actually, the artist began working on a painting begun by Pier Francesco Mazzucchelli, also known as Il Morazzone, who hadn’t finished his work when he died in 1626.
(In the same year Ruben’s wife died and the artist start a diplomat and travelled on diplomatic missions).
Then, Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, known as Guercino, was hired, and in few months he finished the frescoes and left everybody astonished.
Actually, for Guercino that commission was a real challenge.
In the 17th century the majority of painters had abandoned the fresco technique, because they preferred the fresco-secco painting or oil painting on plaster, which allowed longer times of realization and corrections in progress.
Painting frescoes was hard: speed and very dangerous and expensive scaffoldings were required. Only few painters accepted those commissions; but Guercino in Piacenza managed to outdo even himself, creating his masterpiece.
Guercino in Piacenza
From March 4th to June 4th 2017 Piacenza celebrates Guercino with a series of events which have as point of reference the Cathedral and the dome with a new illumination. Exceptionally, for all the duration of the event, visitors will have the chance, almost unique, to go up inside the dome of the Cathedral of Piacenza, to admire the frescoes at a short distance.
At the same time, at the Ducal Chapel of Palazzo Farnese a special exhibition displays a selection of 20 masterpieces by Guercino, which illustrate the life and the works of one of the most important artists of Italian 17th century.