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Venetian artist's gold marks finale for U.S. Embassy's 35th year of relations with Holy See

The grand finale of the U.S. Embassy's 35 years of diplomatic relations with the Holy See was reserved for an exhibit at the Vatican Museums, Crivelli's Gold. The three religious pieces by Venetian artist Carlo Crivelli reveal the height of the 15th century in the colors, most especially the signature gold. 

Scientific director of Arts, Vatican Museums
“Carlo Crivelli was the exponent of an important part, important phase of the late 15th century art development. In a way the champion of a way to look at art still related to the past ways. To paint with an eye to the gold background shining behind the figures of the saints and the Madonna's he paints for his clients.”

The works have recently been restored after much study and careful attention to recreate the original colors and details. This restoration process was paid for by U.S. patrons to the Vatican Museums, specifically the California and New England chapters. 

Inside the Vatican Museums, the United States Ambassador to the Holy See, Callista Gingrich thanked these patrons for their donation and recognized the rich history behind them. 

U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See
“The patrons are a part of a long tradition of American generosity dedicated to preserving and restoring the vast collection of art in the Vatican Museums. This tradition is what brings us together this evening. Today, US patrons fund approximately 80 percent of all restoration product projects at the Vatican Museums. It's an inspiring statistic. It illustrates a close bond between the United States and the Holy See.”

International Director, Patrons of the Arts
“It's not every day you have a collection of three paintings by the same artist together to be on display. It was an opportunity to showcase not only Crivelli himself, but also the patronage behind it, which happened to be in common with it all being sponsored by patrons. So that's the reason. Then it all worked out with 35 years of diplomatic relations of the Holy See in the United States and about 35 or 36 years of patrons, so it was kind of a great idea to bring all three together.”

The Crivelli's Gold exhibit thus demonstrates the collaboration between the Vatican Museums and the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See that began 35 years ago with then-President Ronald Reagan and St. John Paul II.

The mission is not only to preserve the arts and religious history contained inside each country, but to also work to defend religious freedom, fight for peace and safeguard human rights all over the globe. 

Melissa Butz