G. Molteni at the Pinacoteca di Brera
The Pinacoteca di Brera art gallery is taking advantage of the temporary transfer of twelve works by Hayez for the important retrospective exhibition on display at the Gallerie d'Italia, Piazza Scala (Milan, from 7 November 2015 to 21 February 2016), and has decided to dedicate the empty wall in Sala XXXVII to an artist who was a sort of rival for the Venetian painter. Giuseppe Molteni painter, conservationist (he was responsible for a historic work of restoration on Raphael's "Marriage of the Virgin"), and a trusted adviser for purchases to the director of the National Gallery in London, Charles Eastlake, who was frequently seen in the liberal circles in Milan.
Handsome, funny, and very talented as a portrait painter, he knew how to bring out the best in people. In short, in the lively 18th century city of Milan, he was competing with Hayez to win the title of the most popular painter. Fondazione Cariplo is present in this event by lending the Pinacoteca di Brera "The Confession", which is perhaps Molteni's most intense work. Along with this, a large-sized and finely detailed painting of an episode of daily life, the Fondazione has also sent two other splendid paintings that are usually stored in the deposits.
The first is the Portrait of Giuditta Pasta in "Nina o sia la pazza per amore", a tribute to a singer that was famous all over Europe in 1829. This painting shows Giuditta Pasta in a scene where she is gathering flowers as she waits in vain for her lost love. The pictorial richness is an excellent example of Molteni's skill, with the resemblance of the facial features and the fine expressiveness of feelings and mood. At the time, a critic once wrote about the work saying “avrebbesi detto tu vivi con essa” (we would have thought that you lived with her). La derelitta (La morte del bimbo) [The Derelict (The Death of a Child)] was painted in 1845 and can be considered one of the high points of his career, which began with "The Confession", in which genre painting was infused with emotional intensity without becoming weak or languid. The technique is absolutely superb. The exhibition at the Pinacoteca di Brera is a sort of synthetic anthology that fits on one wall. The collaboration between the two museums, shown through the exchange of artworks, will allow visitors to have the chance to explore different aspects of the same cultural moment in two different but nearby locations.
Associated with the Garden of Eden described in the Book of Genesis (Gan Eden in Hebrew), the garden is a symbolic yet real place that emerges in different ancient civilisations, including Mesopotamia, Japan, India, classical culture and Christianity.