The importance of the exhibition consists essentially in the fact that it is an exhibition of sculpture, an event which is above all rare when it includes works from a major period and of monumental size. Along with other masterpieces on loan from Italy and abroad (the Madonna
of the school of Nicola Pisano
in Berlin, the Arnolfo-like Annunciazione
from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London
, the statue of Charles d’Anjou from the Capitoline Museum
and the frieze from the Annibaldi tomb
), which provide an outline picture of sculpture from the second half of the Duecento, there will also be a selection of important paintings, sculptures and goldwork which will resonstruct the extraordinary artistic scene in the city during the years of Arnolfo in relation to the artistic context of central Italy and Europe.
From a technical point of view the exhibition offers some excellent opportunities. Most of the works have been restored for the event and can now be admired as they really were.
For the first time funereal or civic monuments made by Arnolfo during activity in Rome and Umbria can be compared with works from his Florentine period, including those which have been taken to other parts of Europe and overseas and which today are brought together for the occasion. We are finally also able to see the relationship between sculpture and architecture as it was in the façade of the cathedral before it was dismantled in the 16th century, also through the exhibition of architectonic and mosaic fragments. Finally, the exhibition highlights the close connection between Arnolfo and the other great protagonist of artistic renewal of the time, Giotto, seeing that it was above all painting that benefited from the immediate heritage left by this sculptor, before, more than a century later, artists like Brunelleschi and Donatello were able to profit from his ideas.