LUMINAR. POPULAR DEVOTION BETWEEN THE MIDDLE AGES AND THE BAROQUE
The Pisan June is enriched with an exhibition at Palazzo Toscanelli to retrace, with documents and prospectuses, the history of a centuries-old Pisan tradition
The State Archives of Pisa joins the celebrations of the Pisan June with an exhibition dedicated to one of the city's most eagerly awaited annual events, the Luminara di S. Ranieri.
In the historical setting of Palazzo Toscanelli, documents and prospectuses will be exhibited that, from 1318 to the end of the 19th century, bear witness to a popular devotion that over the centuries has acquired the characteristics of a civic celebration, a traditional moment of festivity and entertainment that still amazes for its distinct Baroque theatricality aimed at recreating illusory perspectives and forms.
On display are historical traces of the traditional 'illuminations' that accompanied moments of particular civic importance throughout the Middle Ages, in Pisa and its subject territories, starting with the Breve Portus Kallaretani, a richly illuminated statute with which, in 1318, the Commune of Pisa established the structure of its dominion over the city of Cagliari and in which mention is made of the 'luminara' to be carried out, similarly to what took place in Pisa, for the celebrations of Santa Maria Assunta in Sardinian territory.
This is followed by the 'memories' and 'memoirs' of chroniclers and travellers who, between the 16th and 17th centuries, described the various and sumptuous editions of the 'luminara', for the arrival of Grand Duke Ferdinando in 1587, for Vittoria della Rovere's arrival in 1638, and finally the celebrations for the translation of the relics of St. Ranieri in 1688, which can be considered the first example of the scenographic illumination of the Lungarni as it has come down to us.
Finally, some designs of 'masks', today known as 'linens', for the decoration of the Royal Palace and Palazzo Vitelli, from the State Archives of Florence, which show the special care and architectural inventiveness intended to impress citizens and tourists alike.
The exhibition will be held from 9 to 30 June 2023 and will be opened by a concert on the opening night in collaboration with the Fanny Mendelssohn Association, with Francesco Di Rosa, oboe, Paolo Ardinghi, violin, Niccolò Corsaro, viola, Leonardo Giovannini, cello.
Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and on the afternoons of all Sundays and 17 June. Free admission.