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22nd September 2016

Exonian curates exhibition at the Casa di Goethe museum

Exonian Nicholas Stanley-Price (1966, Literae Humaniores) has curated an exhibition of art currently on display at the Casa di Goethe museum in Rome. The exhibition marks the 300th anniversary of the creation of the Non-Catholic Cemetery.

Entitled At the foot of the Pyramid: 300 years of the cemetery for foreigners in Rome, this is the first exhibition to reveal how artists have depicted the so-called “Protestant Cemetery”, or “Non-Catholic Cemetery at the Pyramid”, from the 18th to the early 20th centuries. More than 40 European and American paintings, drawings and prints on exhibit reflect the extraordinary beauty and intensity of the place, with its towering trees, its gravestones and glimpses of the sky above. At the same time they document the history and gradual transformation of this magical corner in the shade of the Pyramid of Cestius in Rome’s Testaccio quarter.

The area of today’s burial-ground was made available in 1716 by Pope Clement XI and served initially for the burial of members of the Stuart court, in exile from England. Its evocative atmosphere has always attracted numerous painters, but also writers as different as Goethe, Henry James and Gabriele D’Annunzio. The exhibition shows works by famous artists including J.M.W. Turner, Jacques Sablet, Walter Crane, Jakob Philipp Hackert and Ettore Roesler Franz, Karl Friedrich Schinkel and Edvard Munch. Some are general views of the area near the pyramid, others are of individual graves. Rare depictions of the funeral ceremonies held at night are intriguing illustrations of how Protestant burials were conducted.

Nicholas Stanley-Price said: “We have been fortunate to have obtained loans from various European museums, as well as others from private collections in Germany, Scandinavia, the UK and the USA. Some of them have never previously been shown in Italy, and never together in one place as here in our exhibition. They are unusual views that convey the fascination that the Cemetery continues to exert even today on those who visit it.”

At the foot of the Pyramid will remain open to the public at the Casa di Goethe museum from 23 September to 13 November 2016. To read more click here.

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