Claudio Strinati

Art historian and art critic , formerly General Director Ministry of Cultural Heritage

Claudio Strinati2

Graduated in 1970 in Modern Literature (specialization in Art History) with prof. Cesare Brandi , he then  improved himself in the topic and, having obtained a scholarship  at the  Accademia di San Luca in Rome,  he was professor of the Art History in public high schools for two years until 1974 , when he entered for competition , in the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, taking his career as technical official art historian , first as inspector at the Superintendence of Galleries and Works of Art of Liguria located in Genoa , then in Rome at the Superintendence for the Artistic and Historical Heritage of Lazio with the rank of Director and finally, since 1991, after passing a competition for leadership , as Superintendent , a position he held until July 2009 , when he was appointed General Manager of the staff of the Minister for Cultural Heritage, interrupting his administrative activities in the area to engage in research, study activities and internal consultancy .

Over the years at the Ministry he has also taught at the University of Udine (1987-89 ) , with a three-year contract, in the field of Cultural Heritage. He has held promoting activities concerning figurative art  and music ( a kind of studies he has always pursued together with those in the visual arts ), writing for the newspaper La Repubblica and its magazine, Il Venerdì, where he had a music column . He has published several scientific contributions, in various Italian and foreign journals, on topics ranging from the Renaissance and the Neo-classical period . He has also been involved in contemporary art studies and has looked after several exhibitions of notable artists of the Twentieth century as Manzu , Greco, Pirandello, Mafai , Afro ( all kept in the National Museum of Palazzo Venezia ) .

He looked after the international cultural relationships with particular devotion by organizing exhibitions and events in several countries, including France,  England and Germany, Spain, Greece, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden , Malta, Hungary , Turkey, Egypt , Russia, the United States of America, Canada , Mexico, Argentina , Brazil, Australia , Japan, China.

However, during his mandate as Superintendent he has primarily dedicated himself to the art of the Seventeenth century with a look to the age of the Renaissance which was the topic of one of his major exhibition  “Sebastiano del Piombo” , held in 2008 firstly at Palazzo Venezia in Rome , and later in Berlin in Dahlem Museum , judged among the best exhibitions of the year by the specialized critics. He looked after an exhibition on the Fifteenth century in Rome successfully held , in 2008, at the Fondazione Roma Museo del Corso . His exhibition “Caravaggio”, held at the Quirinal Stables in Rome in 2010 , for which he edited the catalog published by Skira, has had an extraordinary success and was one of the most popular and visited exhibitions in Italy after the Second World War to the present.

Since the mid-Nineties until today he has organized and set up remarkable exhibits intended to retrace the whole art history of the Seventeenth century especially , but not exclusively, the Roman art , through its important protagonists . He organized  exhibitions at Palazzo Venezia and Palazzo Barberini concerning  Caravaggio , Domenichino, Pietro da Cortona, Lanfranco , Orazio and Artemisia Gentileschi, ( edited by Keith Christiansen of the Met in New York) Andrea Sacchi , Mattia Preti , as well as lesser- known but also important figures such as Agostino Tassi , Francesco Cozza , Alessandro Algardi and others. This work allowed to set a kind of encyclopedia of the Art of  Caravaggio and the Baroque as an interesting contemporary study of the Art History in Italy.

More exhibitions are still in preparation .

He has devoted a great part of his work to the reorganization of the national museums in Rome. During his Superintendence mandate the Borghese Gallery has been restored and reopened to the public, a Museum of great importance in the Italian panorama;  the magnificent Palazzo Barberini  was recovered to the state, location of a large extent of institutions unrelated with  the National Gallery for more than  sixty years, the reason  why the building was acquired by the Italian State after the Second World War and unfortunately remaining not exploited for a large part. He also recovered a number of spaces of Palazzo Venezia making them available with the aim to extend the museum and exhibitions areas. He has worked actively to the reopening of the Vittoriano which became  the most important exhibition space in the city in a few years.

He also dedicated himself to restoration and cataloging of works of  art . In fact under his Superintendence thousands of works  of art have been restored in the area of Rome and Lazio , and hundreds thousands of works cataloged and made available to the study of all interested people thanks to a computer system still in progress .

He has published many books about art history with a great public and critics acknowledgment. In particular, a series of volumes entitled Il mestiere dell’artista , published by Sellerio (the first was released in 2007 , the second in 2009 , the third is forthcoming) and retracing the highlights of the Italian art history from the Fourteenth century to the present. In 2010 he published The Caravaggeschi edited by Skirà, being the result of long year work in collaboration with Alessandro Zuccari, who oversaw the final version ; in 2010 he published two volumes, the first  on Raffaello , edited by Scripta maneant , the second on Bronzino published by Viviani. He is now preparing a book about Titian.

He obtained the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic and received the French Legion d ‘ Honneur thanks to his cultural activities in the last ten years in Paris, in particular at the Museum of Luxembourg, where he collaborated actively organizing exhibitions on some of the most important Italian artists (Raphael, Paolo Veronese , Titian ) obtaining a great public and critics acknowledgement.

In 2010 he edited the catalog of the exhibition on Beffi’sTriptyque , a masterpiece of the Italian art of the Fifteenth century preserved at the Museo Nazionale of L’Aquila , which was sent on “tour” as symbol of resurrection at various museums in the United States after the earthquake that devastated the Italian city, and gaining a great interest, both from public and critics.

He has worked for the celebrations for the Unity of Italy since 2010. In this context, he looked after the exhibition “La France et le “Risorgimento ” , held in September 2010 at the Museum Nissim de Camondo in Paris on the occasion of the official visit of the Italian Republic President, Giorgio Napolitano, to France.

 

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