29 October 2022 / 29 January 2023
Between the twelfth and the fifteenth centuries, during the age of the Communes and Signorie, Brescia radically changed its conformation taking on the appearance that still characterises it today. The commune magistracies and the lords who ruled the city and its surroundings initiated the extensive urban and architectural projects that redefined Brescia’s structure and appearance. These authorities were also responsible for the creation of new systems to rule and control the use of those images, symbols and rituals that as of today still express Brescia’s civic identity. It was in this period that the city emblem of the lion rampant first appeared – the symbol that the poet Carducci made famous by associating it to the heroic character of the city that fought the Ten Days - and the cults of the city patrons Faustinus and Jovita and of the Holy Crosses were established, cults that over the centuries have set the pace for the calendar of civic celebrations, bringing together the city’s people and institutions.
Promoted by: Comune di Brescia, Fondazione Brescia Musei, Alleanza Cultura
Under the patronage of:
Diocesi di Brescia, Compagnia dei custodi delle Sante Croci
Curated by Matteo Ferrari
This exhibition provides the occasion to finally carry out an extensive and comprehensive study of Brescia’s civic institutions, its key protagonists, its forms of government and means of communication; but most importantly it will provide the occasion to share the results of this research with a wide public that as of today lacks a clear, updated, and duly documented guide to learn about this major chapter of local history. To this end, the essays in the catalogue and the extended captions of the works on display will be written
by scholars who are active also beyond the local context, and whose interdisciplinary approach is considered a guarantee of a duly contextualised reading of the records.
The time span explored by the exhibition will range from the second half of the twelfth century, when the first traces of communal civic institutions appeared, to 1426, when Brescia became part of the Republic of Venice.