Bodmer Museum: A FRESH LOOK ON DANTE AND HIS TIMELESS LEGACY
TEXT: BETTINA GUIRKINGER | PHOTOS: FONDATION BODMER / NAOMI WENGER
To mark the 700 years since the passing of the great Italian poet, the Fondation Martin Bodmer opens its door to Dante enthusiasts from 24 September 2021 to 28 August 2022 in its iconic Bodmer Museum in Cologny, Switzerland.
Under the expert eye of four curators – Professor Jacques Berchtold, Nicolas Ducimetière, Dr Paola Allegretti Gorni and Professor Michael Jacob – the audience is invited to rediscover the timeless work of the Tuscan poet in the exhibition La Fabrique de Dante.
The public will get the chance to get closer to Dante in three different ways. Firstly, by discovering him through the eyes of the great historical readers of his work, such as Lord Byron, Jorge Luis Borges and Charles Beaudelaire. Secondly, by exploring what is likely to have been the library of the poet and the literary sources that inspired him. Finally, the visitor is presented with the ‘Dantean corpus’, where they will be able to learn more about Dante the poet and Dante the man.
This ambitious exhibition is complemented by a homonymous book-catalogue, which illustrates the exceptional collection on Dante gathered over the years by Martin Bodmer. The catalogue contains, among other powerful insights, seven essays from internationally recognised specialists that help us understand the magnitude of Dante’s genius.
Next to the manuscripts and rare copies never exhibited before and other unique wonders, visitors will have the privilege to admire the original portrait of the Tuscan poet by early Renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli from 1495, as well as an original painting from Gustave Doré, which was recently added to the collection.
Fondation Martin Bodmer Martin Bodmer (1899–1971) was a great Swiss bibliophile and collector. Over the decades, he put together one of the most important private collections in the world of sacred ancient papyri, manuscripts, incunabula and rare books, now preserved and exhibited in the Foundation and its museum. Among 150,000 treasures, visitors will be able to admire spectacular items, such as a Gutenberg Bible, sold by Stalin to Martin Bodmer. The Bibliotheca Bodmeriana is one of the most beautiful private collections in the world and was registered in 2015 under UNESCO’s ‘Memory of the World’. Web: www.fondationbodmer.ch
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