Have you ever wondered what it means to witness the rediscovery of an artistic heritage that has been buried by time and adversity? Imagine the fascination of rediscovering works of art that, after a long silence, return to tell stories of the past. This is exactly what happens with the reopening of the Civic Art Gallery of Cento, the Guercino, an event that marks an artistic renaissance not only for the city but for the entire Italian cultural scene.
The reopening of the Civic Art Gallery of Cento, the Guercino
Eleven years after the earthquake that shook Emilia in 2012, the Civica Pinacoteca di Cento, also known as the museum dedicated to Guercino, will finally reopen its doors on 25 November 2023. This museum, which was closed to the public for a long time due to the earthquake, now shines again, presenting an impressive collection of 120 works, including paintings, sculptures and 46 drawings.
THE MASTERPIECES OF THE CIVIC ART GALLERY OF CENTO
Guercino, whose original name was Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, is the centrepiece of this extraordinary collection. Art lovers can admire 16 altarpieces, 20 detached frescoes and 11 drawings by this master of 17th century art in the museum. Alongside these works, the creations of other illustrious artists such as Scarsellino, Guido Reni and Ludovico Carracci can be found. This variety of works, once housed in the Sassuolo collection centre, represents a true return to the origins.
THE RESTORATION AND LAYOUT OF THE CIVIC ART GALLERY IN CENTO
The process of restoration and reopening of the Pinacoteca, managed by the Bologna-based Open Project studio, benefited from a combined grant from the Emilia Romagna Region and the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, totalling almost four million euro. These funds made possible not only the restoration of the works but also a renewed presentation and layout of the museum itself.
The exhibition structure, curated by the Cultural Office of the Municipality of Cento, is organised on two levels: the ground floor offers a chronological itinerary that recounts the cultural history of the city through its most significant works, while the first floor is dedicated exclusively to Guercino and his school. The latter offers visitors a unique perspective on the stylistic evolution of the master and his disciples.
THE REOPENING OF THE MUSEUM AND RELATED EVENTS
The reopening of the Civica Pinacoteca di Cento, Guercino, is not only limited to the possibility for the public to access the Pinacoteca, but is part of a broader context of celebrations in honour of Guercino, with initiatives ranging from exhibitions to exhibition projects in various art venues.
The weekend of 24-26 November 2023 will be a triumph of cultural activities in Cento, with documentary screenings, concerts, academic studies and even a historical re-enactment, all dedicated to celebrating Guercino and his legacy.
The reopening of the Pinacoteca also marks the rebirth of the International Study Centre dedicated to Guercino. Here, researchers and enthusiasts will be able to deepen their knowledge of the master through a specialised library and a digital archive.
THE FUTURE OF THE CIVIC ART GALLERY OF CENTO
Looking to the future, Cento is preparing to celebrate Guercino with further events, including a concert of Baroque music and the exhibition of the Baptism Book with the original act of the artist’s baptism.
The reopening of Cento’s Civic Art Gallery, Guercino, is not only a cultural event of local relevance, but a sign of how art, history and community can come together to overcome adversity and rediscover beauty. An invitation, therefore, to rediscover not only Guercino, but also the regenerating power of art.