The work, a few years after its discovery, has already traveled around the world exhibited in the most important museums, from the Guggenhaim in New York, to the Musèe Maillod in Paris, up to Palazzo Venezia in Rome. This year it will be exhibited at the Podesteria of Chiusi della Verna which belonged to the Buonarroti family, from 24 July to 17 October.
The Baby Jesus of the Hands is a fragment of a more important mural painting, made in the private apartments of Pope Alessando VI Borgia (1431 – 1503). It was Vasari who revealed its existence in his Lives, but the scene told seemed so scandalously impossible that the news was considered a fake. It depicted the Pope’s adoration of the Madonna and Child, but the female face was none other than the portrait of Giulia Farnese, his beautiful lover and mother of a son attributed to him.
Pinturicchio’s painting was, in other words, the indirect testimony of a relationship that had to be kept silent at all costs. For this reason the work was hidden for a long time, kept hidden from prying eyes, then divided into smaller parts, perhaps stolen. After the Pope’s death, there was no more certain news of his existence, for five hundred years, so much so as to suggest that the painting had been destroyed or that it did not exist at all. It was only in 2004 that the fragment was found, now separated from the rest of the work, recovered by an anonymous antiquarian circuit and recognized as an autograph work by the great master Pinturicchio.
The exhibition is accompanied by a detailed critical path that illustrates all the phases of recovery, restoration and reconstruction of the protagonists’ identity.
Tickets cost €5.00 and €2.00 if you stay in a hotel in the town of Chiusi della Verna.
To book +39 348 6542673.
Hours: 9.30-13, 16-19
July/August open every day – September only Saturday and Sunday