Francesco Londonio – Et in arcadia ego

Oct 20, 2023News

Large attendance at the presentation in Erba (CO) of the book on crib painter Francesco Londonio.

A very large audience participated in the late afternoon of Saturday, October 7, in the presentation of the book “FRANCESCO LONDONIO ET IN ARCADIA EGO” Several authorities from the artistic and cultural sphere were present who were interested in discovering the news and novelties contained in the book produced by the La Martesana Cultural Association of Erba concerning the work and novelties of this important artist of the 1700s. Among the many present were Dr. Alessia Alberti of the Civic Collections of the Sforza Castle in Milan, Dr. Barbara Crivellari of the Dalmine Nativity Museum, and numerous representatives of the Ministry of Culture such as Arch. Emanuela Carpani, of the superintendence of archeology, fine arts and landscape of the cities of Milan and Turin, arch. Monica Aresi official in charge of landscape protection of the Como and Brianza Lakes area.

Also not to be missed were the many leaders and representatives of the Italian Association of Friends of the Nativity, who came from various places (Lainate, Desio, Cinisello, Novedrate, Tremezzina, Ponte San Pietro, Albusciago, Padua, Thiene and Piazzola sul Brenta…). The evening opened with remarks by moderator Barbara Crivellari, who invited Pier Luigi Bombelli to recall the figure of Alberto Finizio, national president of the Friends of the Crib Association, who unfortunately passed away recently. Bombelli pointed out that Finizio was particularly pleased to participate with one of his writings in the writing of the book and that it was he who had also suggested its title. It was an evening full of cordiality and strong emotion also because we were reunited after several years stuck by the covid, finally free to meet friends united by their love and passion toward the crib.

This was followed by an illustration with video images of the contents of the volume, with an always passionate and knowledgeable exposition by Pier Luigi Bombelli who presented the figure of Londonio as an interpreter of his times. An artist whose art inspired, oriented and conditioned engravers, painters and printmakers-nowadays we would say an influencer-with his painted nativities. It is certain that his particular sensitivity to this Arcadian atmosphere was the spring that prompted him to experiment with new subjects related to the art of the paper nativity scene. The series of speeches concluded with an exposition by Arch. Marieni della Martesana who explained some of the latest discoveries, and in particular the discovery in Brianza of the ten preparatory drawings that had been lost concerning the series of engravings made by Londonio and dedicated to Count Mellerio, as well as six other drawings made by the painter and later used to execute some paintings donated to the English nobleman Horas Mann. The meeting then saw, as a conclusion, the animated projection, with a restitutive hypothesis for the missing parts, of the nativity scene reconstructed to scale by Bombelli, with the figures preserved at the Carlo Maria Martini Diocesan Museum in Milan. Nativity scene that will be displayed in the paper nativity exhibition scheduled in Erba’s Villa Ceriani from Dec. 8 to Jan. 6.