Presentation of the “Toccare gli angeli – Inediti marmi di Gioacchino Varlè” catalogue

Fontana di San Nicola, Gioacchino Varlè

The "Toccare gli angeli - Inediti marmi di Gioacchino Varlè" exhibition catalogue was presented on Sunday 13 December at 5.30pm, Saint Lucy's day.

The sculptor Gioacchino Varlè (Rome 1731 - Ancona 1806) played a leading role in the artistic scene of eighteenth-century Ancona. After studying at the Roman school of Camillo Rusconi, He was called to collaborate in the regeneration of the city, apparently by the great architect Luigi Vanvitelli himself. Vanvitelli was engaged at that time in redesigning the layout of the old city centre in order to provide the Church State with an access towards the East. Permeated by the classicist and baroque taste typical of the period and of his education, Varlè created works in plaster and in marble as well as stucco decorations for church interiors, public buildings and private dwellings.

The exhibition at the Museo Tattile Statale Omero hosts a pair of Cherubs (second half eighteenth cent, marble), two admirable angel heads, infantile and winged from the Diocesan Museum of Ancona; and a pair of Evangelists, Luke and John (second half eighteenth cent, marble), belonging to the Convent of the Dominican Fathers. As these were somewhat damaged, they were treated to a skilful restoration for the occasion by C.B.R. di Romeo Bigini.

The exhibition catalogue offers not only an important critical analysis of these works which are on show for the first time but also, by means of a fascinating collection of images and texts, thoroughly reconstructs Varlè's artistic development in Ancona and his numerous interventions which can be seen in: la Chiesa di Sant'Agostino, la Chiesa del SS. Sacramento, la Chiesa di San Biagio, la Chiesa e Convento di San Domenico, la Chiesa e il Convento di San Francesco delle Scale, la Chiesa di San Bartolomeo, la Cattedrale di San Ciriaco, il Palazzo del Comune (also known as il Palazzo degli Anziani), la Loggia dei Mercanti, il Palazzo Trionfi, il Palazzo Cresci Antiqui, il Palazzo Ferretti, la Fontana di San Nicola, il Monumento a Pio VI.

The catalogue was created by Massimo Di Matteo, Nadia Falaschini and Diego Masala. It features an unpublished document which clarifies the dates when the artist was born and died. It contains introductions by Roberto Farroni, Director of Museo Tattile Statale Omero, Mons. Edoardo Menichelli, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Ancona and Osimo and Massimo Di Matteo, architect.

Both the exhibition and the catalogue, which is published by Edizioni del Museo Omero, have been made possible thanks to a fruitful collaboration between various Institutions and professionals. In particolar, thanks for the catalogue are due to: Gaetano Apicella, Romeo Bigini, Maurizio Bolognini, Claudia Caldari, Sandro Censi, Giorgio Cozzolino, Luciano Garella, Anna Giovannini, Padre Antonio Olmi, Mons. Cesare Recanatini, Archivio diocesano, Arcidiocesi Ancona - Osimo, Camera di Commercio Ancona, Comune di Ancona, Convento dei Padri Domenicani, Museo Diocesano, Museo Nazionale Archeologico delle Marche, Soprintendenza per i beni architettonici e per il paesaggio delle Marche.