A Master from Pisa between Caravaggio and Gentileschi
15 June-30 September 2024
Pisa, Opera del Duomo Palace

Conceived and organised by the Opera della Primaziale Pisana on the occasion of the 850th anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone of the monument, it is curated by Stefano Renzoni.

Through over 100 works including drawings, engravings, paintings and sculptures ranging from the 13th century to the contemporary, the exhibition aims to illustrate how the perception of the most famous bell tower in the world has changed over the centuries. The figurative arts demonstrate how the identity of the Tower and the meaning attributed to it have profoundly changed, with the changing sensitivity and times.  

A story of works, images, restorations, prints, photographs to represent the Cathedral Bell Tower over the centuries.

Usually depicted until the 17th century as part of a whole, the Tower located near the Cathedral and identified as the Campanile, is an architecture that marks the liturgical hours and marks men’s appointments towards God. From the 18th century it is increasingly depicted isolated, separated from the rest of the ecclesiastical buildings, for a sort of secularization of the perception of the building.

From Campanile to Torre, from Bell Tower to Leaning Tower. Transformed into a fetish, into a self-referential icon, the Tower of Pisa is interpreted today as an image of the city, but also as a symbol of Italy in the world, showing a surprising communicative power. A fate that unites it with other contemporary icons, such as the Mona Lisa, destined to be consumed by the eyes of distracted, hasty visitors who are often unaware of the meanings that the work brings with it.