The Louvre returns to Milan with de La Tour

25 Nov 2011

For the third consecutive year, Goppion is providing the display cases for the extraordinary exhibition in Palazzo Marino of paintings from the prestigious French Museum

On the occasion of the exhibition «Georges de La Tour in Milan. The Adoration of the Shepherds, St. Joseph the Carpenter», organised by Eni with the Municipality of Milan and the Louvre Museum, the synergy is recreated between AleArt, who are producing the exhibition, and Goppion, who have built the special technical display cases designed to house the two masterpieces by the famous painter of the King of France, known as the “French Caravaggio”.

The Louvre has known us for some time. It knows that its masterpieces are well cared for in exhibition cases by Goppion, an outstanding Italian company and world leader in systems for the conservation and exhibition of our cultural heritage. From 2003, with the layout design of the rooms for the Code of Hammurabi, to 2005, when Goppion created the display case for the Mona Lisa, the association with the Louvre has continued to this day. This has been enriched with projects that have distinguished the most significant stages of the process of renovation undertaken by the most visited museum in the world, such as the redesigning of the layout of the Gallery of the Venus de Milo in 2010, the major expansion under way at the Department of the Art of Islam, and finally the ambitious Louvre-Lens project (opening expected for 4 December 2012), the Goppion layout designs for which are the state-of-the-art of Italian style, a synthesis between hand crafting tradition and technological innovation.

The structure of the exhibition cases for The Adoration of the Shepherds and for Saint Joseph the Carpenter, consisting of glass boxes, with bottom-hung openings, realises the concept of the “crystal ball”, characterised by the maximum transparency. They are capsules of glass and steel with a high technological content that, thanks to their high airtightness, guarantee the respecting of the rigid parameters of conservative maintenance required by the Louvre as an essential condition for loaning out the works. The microclimate inside the exhibition cases is constantly monitored by a computerised system: the data are transmitted to the special Peltier cell humidity stabilisation equipment, which responds in real time to maintain optimum levels inside the exhibition volume.

Paolo Scaroni, managing director of Eni, commenting on the event, which has reached its fourth edition thanks to the partnership between Eni and the Louvre Museum, remembers that «from 140,000 visitors to the first extraordinary exhibition, we reached 190,000 last year for Titian’s Woman with a Mirror. The “queues of Russians” - noted Scaroni - that have been seen in recent years outside Palazzo Marino are evidence of the success of a formula that combines the quality and renown of the works with the exceptionality quality of the displays and with the concept of the unique work».

Even though - and this is the innovation for this year - there are two paintings coming from the Louvre’s collections that can be admired free of charge. On this subject, Valeria Merlini, curator of the exhibition, together with Daniela Storti, has specified that «the exhibition layout designed by Elisabetta Greci enables the works to be displayed in the same room, conserving their uniqueness. «Georges de La Tour is an extraordinary painter, simple and elegant. His paintings are an extraordinary synthesis of the style of Caravaggio and Nordic and Flemish painting, a symbol of the union of different cultures and painting styles, of an art without borders that is open to knowledge and cultural exchanges».

«In the two paintings selected for the exhibition, the figure of St. Joseph» - added Merlini - «usually neglected in the traditional iconography, takes on a considerable significance. The figure of the father acquires a central importance together with the idea of the father-child relationship, however putative the father. In a touching way, with episodes that trace the phases of life, in The Adoration of the Shepherds the father illuminates the first hours of the life of his child with a candle, while in the second painting, St. Joseph the Carpenter, it is the child who lights up the work of his father».

In the message by Henry Loyrette, read out by the Director of the Department of Paintings of the Louvre, Vincent Pomarède, the President-Director of the Parisian museum says he is «delighted to present two new masterpieces by a French painter who is among the most well known and most appreciated. Two works of extraordinary beauty by Georges de La Tour, master of light and chiaroscuro». In his message Loyrette thanks all «the people who have endeavoured to ensure that this event would happen» and highlights how «the works have their value marvellously enhanced in this magnificent Palazzo». The Milanese will have the pleasure of discovering all this from 25 November 2011 to 8 January 2012.

Valeria Merlini, curator: «We thank Goppion, who produce display cases that are famous all over the world. At Trezzano sul Naviglio we have the greatest professionals, extraordinary people who work with the Louvre, the creators of the exhibition case for the Mona Lisa. Thanks to them, the works exhibited in Sala Alessi are conserved at the same temperature and with the same degree of humidity throughout the exhibition, without any fluctuations»

L'Adoration des bergers
Auteur: La Tour Georges de (1593-1652)

(C) RMN / Gérard Blot