The Eight Works of Mercy
On July the 18th in Naples Oliviero Rainaldi he will present his latest work, Le otto opere di Misericordia – The Eight Works of Mercy- , with which the artist has revisited one of the greatest artistic masterpieces the history, still kept inside the church of the Pio Monte della Misericordia, which is The Seven Works of Mercy (1607) by Caravaggio.
Rainaldi’s intention is to complete Caravaggio’s work – as if his own work were a natural extension of the light of the painting – by investing it with a further set of mystic signs and deep meanings.
Caravaggio’s painting – which was the first work commissioned from the artist by Luigi Carafa-Colonna, whose family protected and sheltered him following his escape from Rome fleeing a charge of murder – expresses through strong contrast of light and shade a direct vision of reality and truth emerging from the sentiment of compassion and the actions that it leads to.
In his unique project Rainaldi has proposed the addition of an eighth work of mercy to the seven works depicted by Caravaggio. These are: Refreshing the thirsty, Sheltering the homeless, Visiting the sick, Feeding the hungry, Clothing the naked, Visiting the imprisoned and Burying the dead. To this list Rainaldi adds Being merciful to oneself, and to one’s inner being, which is the place of welcoming, forgiveness and charity, as a preparation for attaining knowledge and reconciliation with one’s own interior qualities.
The Eight Works of Mercy have thus been brought together, no longer as descriptive narrative representations of each separate work of mercy, but in order to express their deepest and most meaningful essence.
Suspended somewhere between the sacred and the profane, mysticism and the investigation of human nature, the sculpture created for the Neapolitan exhibition is inspired by the flame that is a symbol of the Spirit, in reference to the torch that appears in the centre of Caravaggio’s canvas in the apse of the Church.
The exhibition is curated by Maria Savarese and has been produced by a cultural collaboration between Oliviero Rainaldi and the Pio Monte di Misericordia of Naples, with the participation of Genus Bononiae, of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Shanghai (MoCa), of the Venice International University, the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park (Michigan, USA) and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Cassino.
The main sponsor of the event is Italgas, a leader in gas distribution in Italy and the third largest company in the sector in Europe.
The other sponsors are Campari Group, Lottomatica and Il Gioco dell’Otto, Grimaldi Group, and as technical sponsor Quayside and Caldic Italia S.r.l.
The installation – which will then go on tour – is accompanied by a catalogue published by Allemandi with texts by Maria Savarese, Qilan Shen and Claudio Strinati.
Microsoft Word – Press release, Le otto opere di Misericordia.doc
Pio Monte della Misericordia
Via dei Tribunali, 253 – Naples, Italy
from Monday to Saturday from 9am to 6pm Sunday 9 am – 2.30pm
(the ticket office closes half an hour earlier)
Information for the public
Paolo Cappelli © Studio 64