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The Provincia di Lecco has planned a special initiative for the International Museum Day ICOM 2022, celebrated every year on 18th May.

This year for the occasion, the visitors of Villa Monastero can admire a rare piece of art depicting the Chariot of Apollo and Aurora, that until now was preserved in a inaccessible room of the Villa.

This artwork belongs to the museums collection and, for the first time, is exposed to the public.

The artwork is drawn from the homonymous fresco of the painter Guido Reni from Bologna (1575-1642) realized in 1614 on the ceiling of Casino Pallavicini-Rospigliosi of Rome.

The fresco of this extraordinary artist of Bologna, of whom 380° the anniversary of his death is celebrated, is considered one of the masterpiece of Roman classicism of the Baroque period.

The version exposed in Villa Monastero, an interesting transposition of the nineteenth century, is made as faux tapestry on canvas of impressive dimensions (over three meters in length) and in all corresponds to the original: in the subject and in the arrangement of the characters.

The mythological characters represent Apollo driving the golden chariot of the Sun drawn by four horses that leap lightly into the air and preceded by the Dawn (Aurora), who chases away the darkness accompanied by a cherub with a burning flame illuminating the scene and who represents the twilight, while the Hours dancing around the Sun.

The subject is based on similar compositions of Raffaello, but revised by Guido Reni. These mythological themes were appreciated and re-proposed also during the Neoclassicism and the nineteenth century, as can be seen in this late nineteenth century version.

The work now is located in the entrance hall near the staircase of the Villa.

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