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Pope Francis

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Big exhibition shows paintings and sculptures that capture the essence of mercy

2016-07-17

Our Lady of Mercy is the star of this exhibition with works from all over Italy.

When Pope Francis proposed an extraordinary Holy Year dedicated to mercy, he wanted to yet again display its power.

The Capitoline Museums in Rome have opened 'Misericordia nell' arte', an exhibition with 27 paintings and sculptures that reflect mercy from museums across Italy.

Twenty pieces of art deal with the seven corporal works of mercy, and the other seven are the different versions of the same invocation, Our Lady of Mercy.

MARIA GRAZIA BERNANDINI
'Misericordia nell'arte'
"The work of art that seems to be the most meaningful and clear is the image of Our Lady of Mercy who opens her cloak to the people. In the Middle Ages the mantle had a precise meaning, not only a symbolic one. The woman who put her cloak on a child meant adoption; the condemned covered by the cloak, received pardon."

Feeding the hungry, giving drinks to the thirsty, sheltering the needy, clothing the naked, visiting the sick, helping the prisoners and burying the dead. These are works of mercy that are reflected in the pieces of art created from the time of the Renaissance until the eighteenth century.

Although the works of Mercy appear in the Bible, many centuries have passed without their  reflection in art.

MARIA GRAZIA BERNANDINI
"As the works in the past were made by request, it was rare for an artist to work on their own. So it is always the reflection of a culture, spiritual and religious atmosphere in which charity becomes an important moment."

The exhibition in Rome can be visited until November 27. It is another way to delve deeper into the key word of this Holy Year.


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