A Kunstkammer in Milan

A Kunstkammer in Milan

The stunning project by American film director Wes Anderson and artist Juman Malouf, his wife, brings 538 objects to Fondazione Prada in Milan, selected among the four million ones preserved by the 12 departments of the Kunsthistorisches Museum and among the 20 million pieces of the 11 collections of the Naturhistorisches Museum in Vienna. The exhibition is the largest museum loan in history and reconstructs an imaginary Kunstkammer, with an inspiring collection in the collection resulting from the duo’s personal choice.

The works are displayed in a very elegant setting designed with architect Itai Margula, consisting of small themed rooms, that also show many objects that were never seen before because they are kept in storage. Bypassing the academic criteria, the precious objects are grouped together according to shape, colour, or to other connections that the visitor is encouraged to discover in Milan – after the first and smaller version of the project presented in Vienna.

A curious selection of objects that explores six centuries of illustrious collecting and five thousand years of history: a real aesthetic journey created by two authentic alchemists of the image.

The journey includes several masterpieces: a bust of a laughing boy by Desiderio da Settignano, the portrait of the Lutheran Johann Friedrich, defeated by Charles V, painted by Titian, a sculpture by Riemenschneider, the portrait of Isabella d’Este painted by Rubens, the custody of the crown and sceptre of Rudolph II of Prague, a splendid etched lock, a series of refined miniature antique busts carved in hard stones, the ivory Phoenix by the Master of the Furies; there also are different curiosities like a false-real emerald mounted at the end of the 16th century, an automata and the object that gives the title to the exhibition: the small Egyptian sarcophagus that once contained the mummy of a Shrew, an animal listed in the Ancient Egypt recipe books as one of the useful ingredients for preparing love potions -and on this occasion the famous patisserie Marchesi has prepared a curious limited edition cake!

“Il Sarcofago di Spitzmaus e altri tesori”, at Fondazione Prada – Milan, from 20 September 2019 to 13 January 2020.

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