15.06.2012 - 04.11.2012
"Magnificenze a Tavola" (“Table of Splendor”), is the first-ever museum exhibit dedicated to the art of the Renaissance banquet, to run from June 15 to November 4 at Villa d’Este in Tivoli.
Throughout this magnificent and historical Villa – one of the most important monuments of Renaissance art and architecture and a UNESCO World Heritage site – curators will re-evoke the lavish convivial settings once enjoyed by the likes of noble lords and cardinals.
Among them were Ippolito II d’Este, who commissioned Villa Tiburtina in nearby Rome; such a grand villa, similar to the elaborate feasts, were an occasion for these titans of men to put on display their power and wealth. The objective of “Table of Splendor” is to demonstrate how the Italian art of dining reached its supreme heights and hegemony on the European stage.
The Italian banquet became a rite and ritual where entertainment and spectacle ruled, and symbolized the “greatness” of those hosting – religious, noble and other powerful figures. The grand finale of the Renaissance banquet was one that had to astound and astonish the guests, inviting them to participate in not only the act of eating, but in the numerous other activities that made up the feast: art, music and theatre. Also involved were the names we admire today, such as Da Vinci, Tiziano, Giulio Romano and Benvenuto Cellini, who might design linens for the table; “pop-up,” ad hoc architecture; and vases and ceramics to decorate the Villa’s halls and rooms.
The tapestry Il Convito di Giuseppe con i fratelli (The Feast Given by Joseph for his Brothers) is on loan from the Quirinale Palace, as are revered Renaissance still-lifes, textiles, and designs from museums such as the Bargello, and the Museum of Silver in Florence; the Estense Gallery and the Civic Museum of Modena; and the Museum of Still-Lifes in Poggio a Caiano.
Additionally, visitors to the exhibit will see sculptures made of sugar, napkins folded with a technique by-now forgotten, and tables set to the tea, all the result of exhaustive research on the subject via antique documents and treatises.
Where: Villa d'Este
Location: Piazza Trento 5