Lecture: “The Cultural Project of Federico Borromeo” - Alberto Rocca (Pinacoteca Ambrosiana)


Location: Medieval Institute Reading Room (Hesburgh Library 715)

Rev. Dr. Alberto Rocca, the director of the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana in Milan, will present “The Cultural Project of Federico Borromeo” followed by a reception. Cardinal Borromeo, the founder of the Biblioteca and Pinacoteca (art gallery) Ambrosiana, conceived of these complementary institutions as a model fine arts academy where science, literature, and Catholic doctrine combined to inform young artists in their mission to produce a new religious art for the Church following the Council of Trent.

It was Borromeo’s personal art collection that formed the nucleus of the art galleries holdings -- 172 paintings including masterpieces by Titian, Caravaggio, and Raphael. Borromeo wrote a treatise in 1625 entitled Museaeum in which he laid out the criteria he used to create his collection and why he designed the galleries as he did. Rev. Dr. Rocca’s presentation will provide insights into the significance of Borromeo’s cultural enterprise for education, art, and the Church.

With degrees in theology and early modern history from the University of Milan, Rocca has served as the director of the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana since 2014. He co-organized the inspirational exhibition combining science and art Da Vinci Shaping the Future, which travelled to Singapore in 2014–2015, and another exhibition focusing on the painting St. Jerome by Caravaggio. He is also the co-author of a new guide to the Gallery.

Sponsored by the Medieval Institute and the Snite Museum. Visit sniteartmuseum.nd.edu and medieval.nd.edu for details.

Reception to follow.