Bruce Boucher

Art

The Adoration of the Magi by Bartolo di Fredi: A Masterpiece Reconstructed at the University of Virginia Art Museum and the Museum of Biblical Art in New York – A Review

The Adoration of the Magi by Bartolo di Fredi: A Masterpiece Reconstructed is a what museum people call a focus exhibition. It is built around a single work of art in a museum's collection, supplemented by other works which cast light on one or more aspects of the work. For the museum, it is an opportunity to take the work out of its usual context in the gallery and to direct the visitor's attention towards that one individual work and its own historical context.This rich exhibition had several themes: the reconstruction of the dismembered work of art, the re-evaluation of the artist who created it, the Sienese master Bartolo di Fredi, the date, the patron, and the original location of the work. This small, but ambitious exhibition goes beyond even this. Through a series of thumbnail biographies, it provides the reader with a guide to Sienese painting in the decades following the Black Death, a period which remains underestimated and comparatively little-known. The exhibition catalogue would make an instructive companion to a visit to the Siena Pinacoteca and the churches of the city.
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