The Museo Nazionale del Bargello has the pleasure to present the reliquary of Montalto attributed to Jean Du Vivier, a French artist who worked in the court of Charles V in the second half of the 14th century. Thanks to the collaboration with the Museo Sistino Vescovile di Montalto, this masterpiece will be exhibited from September 24, 2017 until September 30, 2018 in the Magdalene Chapel at the Bargello Museum.
The earthquake on 30 October 2016 led to the temporary closure of the Museo Sistino Vescovile di Montalto, The reliquary, which was donated by Pope Sixtus V, is its most treasured exhibit. In view of the tragic earthquake the Museo Nazionale del Bargello decided to host the reliquary, a rare masterpiece of the medieval goldsmith’s, so it can be visible while the historic building housing the collection is restored. The museum wishes to raise awareness about the critical situation that the earthquake has provoked in the central regions of Italy.
The reliquary consists of a central case made of gold, designed to contain precious relics. It is carried out with a precious and difficult enamel technique, called in French ‘en ronde bosse’, which allows covering the metal with shining colors. The brilliance of this material competes with that of gems and pearls.
The oldest part of the reliquary, made of gold, is attributed to Jean du Vivier, the famous Parisian goldsmith of the late 14th century, who worked for the king of France Charles V (1364-1380). The reliquary became, for the rarity of its sacred content and its artistic form, a desired object from the sovereigns, popes and cardinals. Its property passed rapidly from the dukes of Burgundy to Ferdinand IV of Tyrol, to Lionelo d’Este Marquis of Ferrara and through the German jeweler Giacomo de Goldemont to Pope Paul II Barbo (1464-1471). Finally, Pope Sixtus V Peretti (1585-1590) donated the reliquary to the Montalto town, which he defined as his dear homeland, in the Marche region.
The display of the reliquary also aims to support fundraising, through a crowdfunding and by the sales of a booklet on the restoration carried out by the Opificio delle Pietre Dure. The funds will serve to support the restoration work of the museum in Montalto and other monuments damaged by the earthquake belonging to the Musei Sistini del Piceno network.
During the exhibition at the Museo Nazionale del Bargello guided tours and lectures will take place among other initiatives dedicated to disclose in depth the sacred goldsmith’s, of which the reliquary of Montalto represent one of its best masterpieces.