Legend, fantastic story or expression of faith: the relic of the Sacred Belt, the Belt of the Virgin Mary kept in the Cathedral of Prato, is all or perhaps nothing of this but is undoubtedly a religious and civil symbol of Prato identity and fulcrum of the artistic and historical events of Prato.
The new exhibition of Palazzo Pretorio “Bound by a Girdle. Our Lady of the Assumption by Bernardo Daddi and the identity of a city” that has been inaugurated on Thursday, the 7th of September, and will be open until the 14th of January 2018, is inspired by that precious identity myth and lights a bundle of intense light on the art of the 14th century, a period of great prosperity with the commissions for artists such as Giovanni Pisano and Bernardo Daddi who celebrated the Marian devotion in Prato as true civic cult.
Over 60 works, centered on Bernardo Daddi’s reconstruction of the piece, which will be admired in its entirety, a rich collection of paintings, sculptures and miniatures to tell the city and its heritage of culture and beauty and return the charm of a story that is read as a fairy tale.
The exhibition, organized by the Municipality of Prato in collaboration with the Diocese of Prato, curated by Andrea De Marchi and Cristina Gnoni Mavarelli, inaugurates the new exhibition spaces of the Museum recovered in the adjacent building of the former Monte dei Pegni (Pawnbuilding).
The Cathedral of Prato will also be part of a tour that will allow visitors to enter the Chapel of the Belt, which is usually closed and to admire the cycle of frescoes by Agnolo Gaddi.
Legend, Art and Tradition
The origin of the cult of the sacred belt is rooted in the 12th century. The legend is based on an Apocryphic text of the 5th – 6th century and tells that the belt, given to Saint Thomas by the Madonna during the Assumption, was brought to Prato in 1141 by the merchant Michele and donated to the point of death, in 1172, at the priest of the cathedral. The Belt is a thin, 87cm long, light green woolen tape, with golden brocade and two ropes to tie it to the waist. Between the 13th and 14th centuries the relic assured the role of a true sign of the election of the city, sanctified by such a precious vestiges miraculously arrived from the Holy Land, and became the engine of the artistic events of Prato.
The focal point of the exhibition is the reconfiguration of the piece by Bernardo Daddi, one of the most prestigious images of the 13th century devoted to the Assumption and the miraculous gift of the Belt at the disbelieving St. Thomas.
Palazzo Pretorio Museum, Piazza del Comune, Prato firstname.lastname@example.org
Opening time: everyday (except non-holiday Tuesdays) from 10.30 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. The ticket office closes at 6 p.m. – Exhibition ticket: 8 €, cut price 6 € (info about cut prices and free admissions on the website www.palazzopretorio.prato.it)
Museum + exhibition ticket: 12 €, cut price 10 € – With the exhibition ticket it is possible to visit also the Chapel of the Sacred Belt in the Cathedral of Prato (by reservation) and, furthermore, to visit the Filippo Lippi’s frescoes in the Cathedral with a reduced ticket.
On line ticket presales through the call-centre ph. +39 0574 19349961
Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
email@example.com (for groups)
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LEGATI DA UNA CINTOLA.
L’ASSUNTA DI BERNARDO DADDI
E L’IDENTITÀ DI UNA CITTÀ
7 settembre 2017- 14 gennaio 2018
Museo di Palazzo Pretorio, Piazza del Comune, Prato.
La cintura della Vergine, custodita in una Cappella del Duomo di Prato, è al centro della nuova mostra nel Museo di Palazzo Pretorio. La Sacra Cintola, circa 80 centimetri di lana finissima verde e broccata in filo d’oro, rappresenta, fin dal Duecento, un prezioso simbolo del valore identitario cittadino e il motore delle vicende artistiche di Prato.
Il suggestivo percorso espositivo, che intreccia i fili di un racconto tra storia e tradizione, mette in luce il ricco patrimonio di cultura e bellezza custodito nel territorio e oltre i confini locali. Per la prima volta è così possibile ammirare, grazie a prestiti dal Metropolitan Museum di New York e dai Musei Vaticani, la ricostruzione della smembrata Pala di Bernardo Daddi, realizzata per il Duomo di Prato, e di cui il Museo di Palazzo Pretorio conserva una delle due predelle.
Eccezionalmente, sarà visitabile la bellissima Cappella della Cintola, nel Duomo di Prato, interamente affrescata da Agnolo Gaddi.