"THE PAINTED SKY - The Palazzo Carmi frescoes"

Reggio Emilia State Records Office

3 - 31 March 2009 - Exhibitions



         "Opening of sites inaccessible to the public": this is one of the numerous initiatives for 2009 promoted by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities; the Reggio Emilia State Records Office also having lent its support, which allows those who wish to visit the Institute's frescoed rooms to do so.

These rooms are normally only used by staff, given that they lead to the wing of the Institute reserved for actual working offices, but for the month of March (from 3 to 31) they will be open to visitors on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10.00 a.m. to 12.30 p.m.

         This will be an opportunity to pause and consider, less distractedly than usual, a moment in time in Reggio Emilia society of the late nineteenth century. The building that houses the State Records Office takes its name from the brothers Giuseppe and Bonaiuto Carmi who, having become owners of the land, started construction in 1849, without paying heed to costs. It is a large building, whose size attests to the family's wealth and prosperity. The building's tempera paintings, artworks produced to decorate the meeting rooms on the main floor, also highlight its high social status.

         This was how the rich Reggio Emilia bourgeoisie lived in those days, and it was in this period of time that the paintings in Palazzo Manenti and those in the Bolognini and Taddei family homes were realised. Nothing, or at least very little, is known of the artists who carried out these works: the subject has not been thoroughly looked into, and thus we can only hypothesise, the same being true of Palazzo Carmi too.

This palace is evidence of the renovation of the city's social and artistic scene, that took place in the second half of the 1800s, both in terms of its architectural structure (which also recalls in part the already existing ancient Santo Spirito Convent) and its decoration.

         This initiative was implemented in collaboration with Professor Massimo Pirondini, who provided advice on artistic aspects, and Fabio Cocconcelli, who dealt with the history of the building's architecture.



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