From March 3rd to June 10th, 2018 (opening on Friday, March 2nd at 6pm) the Medieval Museum of Bologna hosts the magnificent sculpture “Allegoria del Sonno” (Allegory of Sleep) by Alessandro Algardi, coming from the permanent collection of Galleria Borghese in Rome. On show for the first time in the artist’s native town, the exhibition is the result of an exchange agreement between Galleria Borghese and Museo Civico Medievale that loaned Rome museum the bronze bust of Gregory XV by Gian Lorenzo Bernini for a recent exhibition.
Alessandro Algardi was the main representative of the classicism in the highest expansion period of the Baroque figurative culture. Between 1635 and 1636 he was commissioned by prince Marcantonio Borghese to make this precious statue in black marble depicting a calmly sleeping cupid with butterfly wings.
On the occasion of this exhibition in Bologna, the “Allegory of Sleep” is placed in the bronze room of the Medieval Museum, close to the statue of Saint Michael the Archangel defeating Satan, made by Algardi in 1647 for the library of the San Michele in Bosco monastery. The juxtaposition of these two sculptures makes people appreciate the technique ability of the artist in working with very different materials, such as marble and bronze.
From the museum the visit goes on in the city to discover other important examples of Alessandro Algardi’s art:his young-age sculptures at the Oratory of Santa Maria della Vita and in the church of San Domenico; the wax “Testa di San Filippo Neri"(Head of San Filippo Neri) at Museo Davia Bargellini; the marble monumental “Decollazione di San Paolo“(Decapitation of St. Paul) placed on the high altar in the church of San Paolo Maggiore.
The exhibition project is completed with a book curated by Antonella Mampieri, texts by Mark Gregory D’Apuzzo, Antonella Mampieri, Silvia Massi and an introduction by Algardi’s leading international expert Jennifer Montagu. In addition the museum proposes a programme of walking tours, guided visits and conferences to study this great sculptor, worthy rival and antagonist of Gian Lorenzo Bernini.