Monday, 29 April 2024

Tour to discover the treasures of Vicenza from the Diocesan Museum to the Jewel Museum

Sunday, May 5, and Sunday, May 19, in Vicenza, a cross-museum itinerary recounting the origins of the cult of Madonna of Monte Berico

Tour to discover the treasures of Vicenza from the Diocesan Museum to the Jewel Museum

In May, on the occasion of Marian month, the Diocesan Museum and the Vicenza Jewelry Museum are organizing a tour to discover the crown and breastplate of the Madonna of Monte Berico, the city's patron saint, and the sacred art masterpieces that inspired them. It is a precious treasure that demonstrates the skills of Vicenza's goldsmiths over the centuries, to which we owe the development of a production district that today exports the excellence of Made in Italy jewelry all over the world.

The guided tour will be held on Sunday, May 5 and Sunday, May 19, 2024, at 10 a.m., and will start at the Diocesan Museum, where visitors can admire sacred art artifacts made between the 13th and 15th centuries that document the development of the local goldsmith's art. These include the Reliquary of the Holy Thorn, an admirable work of goldsmithing that holds the relic of the Holy Thorn donated by St. Louis IX, king of France, to Bishop Bartolomeo da Breganze of Vicenza. The bishop will have the church of Santa Corona built for veneration. In addition to this in the Diocesan Museum are the chalice of Santa Corona, an admirable work of Vicenza goldsmithing from the 17th century, and the Cathedral's astylar cross, an unparalleled Gothic jewel from the 15th century.These three works were taken as inspiration by the commission, chosen in 1899, for the making of the crown and breastplate of the Virgin of Monte Berico.

The crown and the breastplate will be the protagonists of a visit to the Jewel Museum that will shed light on the history of these two masterpieces of devotional art, made from 18th- and 19th-century goldsmithing and votive offerings donated by Vicenza's wealthiest families, but also by important ecclesiastical figures. Pope Leo XIII, the pontiff who laid the foundations of the Church's social doctrine, according to tradition lifted from his finger the ring that is now set on the front of the crown, while Bishop Marco Zaguri donated the cross that shines in the center of the breastplate. The two pieces of jewelry, masterfully crafted in 1900 by goldsmith Angelo Marangoni in the workshop under the loggias of the Basilica Palladiana, fuse together earrings, rings, brooches, crosses and buttons in gold and silver, diamonds, rubies, sapphires, pearls and colored stones. Explaining goldsmithing techniques and innovations evident in the two works will be Stefano Soprana, jeweler who oversaw their restoration, carried out just before the Jubilee of 2000 by goldsmith Giovenzio Posenato.

INFO AND RESERVATIONS: ; tel. 0444226400 (subject to availability).

Cost of guided tour: €15.00, including admission to the two museums. Reservations required.

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