Saturday, March 17, 2012

Religious Art and Italian Hospitals

The Ospedale Maggiore, traditionally named Ca' Granda is a building in the centre of Milan,constructed to house one of the first community hospitals, the largest such undertaking of the fifteenth century.

Francesco Sforza (one of the patrons of Leonardo da Vinci) founded this hospital in 1456 "Ad Sustentandos Christi Pauperes" ("For the sustenance of the poor of Christ"). 

The old buildings still exist and are now part of the University of Milan. The hospital is now in new buildings

Over the years the hospital has built up a very fine art collection from the donations and gifts of people grateful for the hospital`s services.

It has about 2500 works from the 16th to the 21st century: paintings, sculptures, ceramics, 

The works are by amongst others  il Moretto, il Guercino, Ceruti, Adler, Hayez, Vela, Segantini, Gola, Carrà, Casorati, Sironi, and Tadini

The Church has always had a close relationship with this great institution and it still retains this even to the present day

As you might expect many of the works in the Hospital`s collection are of religious art

Here are some:

Camillo Ripetti (1859 - 1929), 
Adamo ed Eva si nascondono da Dio
Adam and Eve hide from God
c. 1913
Oil on canvas
151 cm x 100 cm
Raccolte d'Arte dell'Ospedale Maggiore, Milan

Giovanni Buffa 1871 - 1954
Allegoria in memoria di un benefattore anonimo, Il buon samaritano (The Good Samaritan)
Oil on canvas
120 x 200 cm
Raccolte d'Arte dell'Ospedale Maggiore, Milan

Gianfilippo Usellini 1903 - 1971
Allegoria in memoria di Rosa Sciomachen, La Carità
c. 1962
Oil on canvas
121.5 x 201 cm
Raccolte d'Arte dell'Ospedale Maggiore, Milan

Mario Carletti  (1912 -1977)
Allegoria in memoria di Guido Pozzi, Cristo Maestro
Christ the Teacher
c. 1966
Oil on canvas
120 x 200 cm
Raccolte d'Arte dell'Ospedale Maggiore, Milan
Guido Pozzi`s life was saved as an infant by the hospital when he contracted a particularly intractable form of pleurisy. He became a teacher. On his death he left all his property to the Hospital. The hospital commissioned this work as a tribute to him and his gift

Dina Bellotti 1911-2003
Giovanni Paolo II tra gli ammalati del Policlinico
John Paul II amongst the sick children at the Sick children`s hospital
c. 1985
Oil on canvas
116 x 114 cm
Raccolte d'Arte dell'Ospedale Maggiore, Milan

Dina Bellotti was an Italian religious artist and was very close to Pope Paul VI