programme: exhibition display
client: ellevì antichità
team: sophia los
city/area: stella maris church, porto cervo, italy
status: completed, july 2018
An exhibition of works by Doménikos Theotokópoulos – also known as El Greco – an extraordinary painter, was the perfect occasion to mark the 50th anniversary of the Stella Maris church’s solemn consecration, while additionally realising the Director of Ellévi Antichità Letizia Valoti’s desire to bring some essential works from the Master’s life to Porto Cervo. El Greco’s artistic maturity, which he reached over his ten years of living in Italy, is displayed by a miniature on copper, a rare beauty depicting “San Francis in prayer”. The item is an extremely recent discovery of prof. Lionello Puppi presented to the general public for the first time ever in the Stella Maris church.
In addition to the exhibition, the event included a talk featuring Mariella Lobefaro, an expert on icons, and prof. Lionello Puppi, prof. Emeritus of Methodologies of Art History at Ca’ Foscari University, Venice as panellists.
Designed by architect Michele Busiri Vici in the now typical style of Costa Smeralda, the church is an organic and plastic space. The baptistry, where we installed the exhibition, is a low irregular chamber with a vaulted ceiling. It wasn’t possible to use the walls to show the paintings. I conceived a three-dimensional frame of large dimensions instead of a glass case, a sort of “frame-space” one could walk around gradually discovering the precious works by El Greco.
The display was created thanks to the precious contribution of craftspeople and friends Nico Filigheddu, Gianni Filigheddu (Aire) and their collaborators.
At the last minute, as prof. Puppi was indisposed, prof. Nano Chatzidakis, PhD, Prof. Of Byzantine Art and Archaeology at the University of Ioannina (Greece), substituted prof. Puppi. This little exhibition is very dear to me, and I am grateful to Letizia for letting me meet Lionello Puppi one last time. This project is dedicated to him.