Pilgrimage of Russian Art – From Dionysius to Malevich

20 November 2018 – 16 February 2019
Braccio di Carlo Magno

An exhibition event that, after two years, once again brings two museum institutions together: the Tretyakov National Gallery in Moscow and the Vatican Museums.
Open to the public from Tuesday 20 November, and arranged in Bernini’s Braccio di Carlo Magno in Saint Peter’s Square, “Pilgrimage of Russian Art. From Dionysius to Malevich” closes the cycle that was opened by the exhibition “Roma Aeterna”, which from 2016 to 2017 hosted in the Russian gallery 42 works from the permanent collection of the Vatican Pinacoteca. If at the time it was an exceptional loan without precedent, today, in line with and continuing that successfully launched dialogue, the Muscovite gallery is responding with equal generosity by sending to the Vatican 54 works from the renowned Gallery and other Russian museums, many of which have never before left their usual locations.

The exhibition project is curated by Arkadi Ippolitov, Tatiana Udenkova and Tatiana Samoilova, with the ambitious aim of presenting the cultural and spiritual message of Russian art in the heart of the western Christian world because, as confirmed also by the director of the Vatican Museums, Barbara Jatta, “Beauty creates bridges, brings different cultures together and makes us all brothers. The successful artistic collaboration between the Vatican and Russia continues today with another exchange – a bridge, in fact – that will enable many visitors to the Vatican to appreciate great Russian painting spanning over six centuries”.
The promoters of the exhibition, aside from the Vatican Museums and the Tretyakov Gallery, are the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, with the generous support of Alisher Usmanov’s Art, Science and Sport foundation.

Press Release 

Introduction to the Exhibition Catalogue by Zelfira Tregulova, Director of the Tretyakov National Gallery

Presentation to the Exhibition Catalogue by Barbara Jatta, Director of the Vatican Museums 


Useful info

Exhibition: Pilgrimage of Russian Art. From Dionysius to Malevich
Location: Braccio di Carlo Magno, St. Peter’s Square, Vatican City
Duration: 20 November 2018 – 16 February 2019
Opening hours: Monday-Tuesday-Thursday-Friday 09.30 a.m. – 05.30 p.m. (last entry at 05.00 p.m.); Wednesday 01.30 p.m. – 05.30 p.m. (last entry at 05.00 p.m.); Saturday 10.00 a.m. – 05.00 p.m. (last entry at 05.00 p.m.). Closed: Sunday and religious holidays
Ticket: free


Thursday 6 December 2018 | 04.00 p.m.
Conference Hall, Vatican Museums

Thursdays in the Museums this 6 December is an unmissable appointment for scholars and for all the public interested in the Etruscans and their world. The focus of the meeting is indeed the presentation of “Etruscology”, the volume in English edited by Alessandro Naso for the De Gruyter publishing house and dedicated to current knowledge of Etruscan civilization: culture, history, religion, society, language and economics, without neglecting topography and relations in the Italic peninsula and in the Mediterranean. The work has the dual aim of presenting an up-to-date overview of this ancient people and of constituting an international point of reference for etruscological studies.

The speakers at the meeting will be Professor Giovanni Colonna, former ordinary professor of Etruscology at the “La Sapienza” University of Rome and member of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, and Professor Christopher J. Smith, professor of ancient history at the Scottish University of Saint Andrews and former director of the British School at Rome in the years 2009-2017.
The interventions will be introduced by the Director of the Vatican Museums, Barbara Jatta, and by Maurizio Sannibale, curator of the Department of Etrusco-Italic Antiquities. The meeting will also be attended by Alessandro Naso, editor of the volume, and Serena Pirrotta, editorial director for Studies in Classics and Philosophy of the De Gruyter publishing house.

Introduction by Alessandro Naso

Alessandro Naso – Biographical Notes 

Conference “Roma 1968-2018: arte sacra e spazi di culto”

15 November | 16 November 2018
Vatican Museums | MAXXI

The architectural and artistic testimonies of the churches of Rome in the last fifty years, from the crucial 1968 to today, constitute the thematic cornerstone of the two days of the coference “Roma 1968-2018: arte sacra e spazi di culto” (Rome 1968-2018: religious art and places of worship), to take place on 15 November in the Vatican Museums and on 16 November at MAXXI in Rome.

The meeting, curated by Teresa Calvano and Micol Forti, is promoted by the Vatican Museums in collaboration with ANISA (National Association of Art History Teachers) and MAXXI (National Museum of 21st Century Arts), and will enable scholars of the history of architecture, art and the Church to explore issues relating to architecture and religious art, starting from the relationship between liturgy and the arts as considered by the Vatican Council II (1962-1965) – the first important opening of the Church to contemporary art – and its subsequent developments and applications.

N.B. Attendance by invitation




Masterpieces throughout the Vatican Museums

9 November 2018 – 9 March 2019
Vatican Museums

A “journey within the journey” along the entire Vatican Museums tour itinerary, a “dispersed” exhibition that from 9 November will open its doors to celebrate the great German scholar Johann Joachim Winckelmann, father of modern archaeology and precursor of today’s art historians.
Preceded and already announced in May in the study day on the Montalto Collection in Villa Negroni, “Winckelmann. Masterpieces throughout the Vatican Museums” is the exhibition of the year that symbolically brings to a conclusion the many initiatives intended to render homage to the renowned archaeologist in the dual anniversary – 300 years since his birth, and 250 since his tragic death in Trieste.

In the years of his “dazzling” stay in Rome (1755-1768), the Vatican Museums as we know them did not yet exist, but Winckelmann already visited the Vatican Belvedere and returned repeatedly to admire the statues conserved there. Indeed, it was due to his favourable judgement that many antiquities that he studied during his visits to the monuments and collections of the Eternal City were then purchased by the pontiffs. The exhibition, curated by Guido Cornini and Claudia Valeri, is intended to highlight precisely this role of the Vatican collections as a cornerstone for the studies, theories and writings of the renowned German archaeologist. All sectors of the museums have been involved in this impressive and original exhibition project that offers the visitor a thematic itinerary with several pauses for in-depth analysis, 50 to be precise, corresponding to the 50 selected works – and valued graphically and in terms of content – on the basis of the role Winckelmann attributed to them in the construction of his aesthetic thought.

Room XVII of the Pinacoteca was instead dedicated to the presentation of the figure and his age. The screening of a film and the display of some of his most important writings help to understand better the atmosphere and cultural climate that characterised the city of Rome around the mid-eighteenth century. Winckelmann arrived in 1755 for a brief stay and instead spent the rest of his life in Italy, enchanted by the grandiose beauty of the antiquities: he devoted all his attention and prodigious talent to them.





Useful info

Exhibition: Winckelmann. Masterpieces throughout the Vatican Museums
Location: Vatican Museums
Duration: 9 November 2018 – 9 March 2019
Ticket: free and included in the Museums entry ticket
Opening hours: those of the Museums (entry from 09.00 a.m. – 04.00 p.m., closing at 06.00 p.m.)
Catalogue: Edizioni Musei Vaticani

N.B.: Free entry to the Vatican Museums and the exhibition every last Sunday of the month.
Opening hours: 09.00 a.m. – 02.00 p.m., last entry at 12.30 p.m.


Raffaello. Le Stanze

Thursday 25 October 2018 | 04.00 p.m.
Conference Hall, Vatican Museums

The presentation of Christoph Luitpold Frommel’s volume “Raffaello. Le Stanze” (Raphael. The Rooms), edited by Jaca Book, could surely be hosted only in the Pope’s Museums, in the context of the cultural and scientific appointments of the Thursdays in the Museums programme. Special speakers will be present at this editorial event, to be held at 04.00 p.m. on Thursday 25 October: from Antonio Paolucci to Claudio Castelletti, from Claudio Strinati to Stefania Pasti; all will be received by the “host”, the Director Barbara Jatta, who with particular satisfaction emphasizes the happy coincidence between the publishing of this monograph, with its superb photographic accompaniment, and the completion of the restoration works – although those of the Room of Constantine are still in progress – which have brought the paintings of the Rooms to a state “very close to the original”, as Frommel himself acknowledges.





Free admission from 03.30 p.m. on presentation of the invitation

Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo: once again witness to art’s mission of dialogue

24 October 2018

Two years on from 21 October 2016, when the notes of the Chinese Guangzhou Opera House Orchestra resounded for the first time, the Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo will once more become, on Wednesday 24 October, the symbolic and special backdrop for another significant musical event which, in the name of art and the unifying power of Beauty, forms part of the process of opening and dialogue already undertaken by the Vatican Museums with various Chinese cultural entities.

This time it will be a concert of operatic works, entitled “Mater: la Bellezza ci unisce” (Mater: Beauty unites us) evoking the imaginary embrace between distant peoples, and the vibrant voices of the tenor Cristian Ricci and the Chinese soprano Ma Fei will lift up hearts to promote trustful mutual listening.

The initiative is the result of collaboration between the Governorate of Vatican City State and the Culture&brand Research Group of the organization Chinese Attendees of Academic Exchange on Religion and Culture.

Homage of the Vatican Museums to Paul VI on the occasion of his canonization

12 October – 5 November 2018
Collection of Contemporary Art, Vatican Museums

To pay homage to Pope Montini in the month of his canonization, which occurs officially on 14 October, the Vatican Museums will hold a symbolic exhibition event in the spaces that house the art collection – now known as the Collection of Contemporary Art – which was conceived by Paul VI himself and which he strongly desired and supported during the years of his papacy.

Paolo VI il giorno dell’inaugurazione della Collezione con Kengiro Azuma e la famiglia Foto © Servizio Fotografico L’Osservatore Romano

The Artist is Prophet and Poet” is the title chosen for this intimate but dutiful photographic tribute by the Pope’s Museums, and it is a citation from the speech given by the Brescia-born Pontiff on 1973 to mark the inauguration of the new Collection. His words on that occasion had already been significantly preceded, ten years earlier, in his homily for the “Mass of Artists”, in which Paul VI clearly expressed his intention to cancel the distance that had been created between the Church and artists, and thus to recompose a bond that had been interrupted for too long.

From 12 October to 5 November, in an extraordinary form along the itinerary of the Collection of Contemporary Art, the visitor to the Vatican Museums will therefore find a small but significant selection of original photographs bearing witness to some fundamental phases in the history of the collection, expressing heartfelt acknowledgement of the modernity and farsightedness of its founder.





Conference “Preventive conservation in major museums. Comparing strategies”

12 October 2018
New Wing, Vatican Museums

The directors of the most important museums in the world will meet on Friday 12 October at the conference sponsored and organised by the Vatican Museums on the theme of preventive conservation in large museum contextsThe Vatican Museums are pleased to host the directors of the great universal museums, visited by millions of people every year. Their daily challenge: to find new ways for the management and material conservation of such an important and strongly displayed heritage. I hope that this conference, by promoting a real and direct exchange, will contribute to the development of common strategies that may be a concrete help for all museums. These are the words with which Barbara Jatta, Director of the Pope’s Museums, announces and presents the significant moment of exchange and reflection on what is presented as one of the most urgent questions of the third millennium: the management of mass tourism and planned heritage conservation.

The participants in the meeting will describe the working strategies or specific cases faced in their role, and analogies and differences, critical issues and opportunities will emerge from the exchange between various demands and situations: a synthesis of points of observation and concrete activities, useful for defining what may be the future guidelines for museum institutions.



Useful info

Attendance by invitation.
Registration closed on 17 September 2018.


The Vatican Museums in Frankfurt for the 70th Book Fair

10 – 14 October 2018

The presence of the Vatican Museums also for the 2018 edition of the Frankfurter Buchmesse, the prestigious international book fair in Frankfurt from Wednesday 10 to Sunday 14 October, is confirmed again this year. With Georgia as the guest of honour, the event, greatly anticipated both by professionals in the sector and keen readers, will involve the participation of over 7000 exhibitors from 100 different countries.

Edizioni Musei Vaticani and Libreria Editrice Vaticana (LEV) – as is by now customary – will represent Vatican publishing in a joint exhibition stand where, aside from the presence of new publications, there will also be fruitful and stimulating exchanges with publishers and visitors.