From 18 June 2024 to 03 November 2024

The temporary exhibition of Andrea Mantegna's drawing depicting the "Deposition" is part of the PTM ANDATA E RITORNO program, the format of Fondazione Brescia Musei that transforms "departures" connected to loan requests into "arrivals" of guest works: an opportunity to welcome masterpieces into the rooms of the Pinacoteca that dialogue with the permanent collection, giving Brescians and tourists the opportunity to constantly reinterpret the rooms of the Museum according to new keys and new points of view.

Information and Reservations
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The exhibition

An initiative promoted by:
Municipality of Brescia, Fondazione Brescia Musei, Alleanza Cultura

Curated by: Roberta D’Adda

Texts by: Nicola Turati

Room I of the Pinacoteca Tosio Martinengo houses the most precious sheet of the civic collection of drawings: a work that has represented Brescian collections throughout the world, including New York, London, and Paris, and in Italy has been called upon to participate in the most important exhibitions that have been dedicated to Andrea Mantegna in recent decades, such as the Turin and Verona exhibitions.

Usually kept, for conservation reasons, in the drawers of the Gabinetto dei Disegni e delle Stampe, it will now temporarily remain on display in the space usually reserved for the St. George and the Dragon, also an iconic work in our collections and also dated around 1460, which will be a guest in the coming months at the 20th International Art Exhibition in Illegio (Udine).
This is an exceptional occasion, since to date, to the best of our knowledge from bibliographic and archival investigations, the drawing has never been exhibited in Brescia.

The artwork

The drawing provides an extraordinary example of the tireless graphic activity of Andrea Mantegna, a crucial figure for the diffusion in northern Italy of the new perspectives and antiquarian taste typical of the Italian Renaissance. It is part of a vast sequence of graphic studies dedicated by Mantegna to the theme of the dead Christ.

The artist, as evidenced by the numerous variations in the course of his work, progressively investigates and defines the composition of the scene: the dead body of the Saviour, foreshortened diagonally, is lowered into the tomb by two pious women holding him with a sheet, while two other barely visible figures, to be recognised as Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, welcome the body into the grave. In the centre, in an attitude of prayer, the Virgin prostrates herself with folded hands towards the body of her son.

The drawing is traced in pen, with great speed, in an attempt to fix the idea directly onto the sheet. The stroke, in perfect coherence with other graphic works by Mantegna, is full-bodied, aggressive, sometimes chaotic, yet ‘constructive’.
The volumes are rendered by chiaroscuro, through shadows that, defined by the typical Mantegna hatching, become thicker and thinner, more marked and more subdued depending on the variation of light and in relation to the formal requirements pursued by the artist: in this key we can read the thickening of the shadows that define the dead body of Christ, functional to restore an effect of sculptural solidity.