Minneapolis Institute of Art Announces Collaboration with Palazzo Barberini

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MINNEAPOLIS (April 12, 2023)— The Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia) announced today a collaboration with the Palazzo Barberini in Rome. The museums agreed to an important loan exchange of two major works, which will enhance opportunities for visitors in Minneapolis and in Rome. In exchange for borrowing Mia’s The Death of Germanicus by Nicholas Poussin, the Palazzo Barberini will loan Caravaggio’s Judith and Holofernes. The 1599 painting by Caravaggio, which depicts the Hebrew Bible story of Judith saving her people from subjugation, will be the centerpiece of an intimate exhibition featuring 14 additional works from Mia’s collection that depict the same narrative, providing additional artists’ perspectives on this biblical story. The exhibition opens April 20 and is on view in the Bell Family Decorative Arts Court. The Death of Germanicus travels to join an exhibition at the Palazzo Barberini, which celebrates the 400th anniversary of Maffeo Barberini’s election to the papacy as Urban VIII.
This exchange of works also highlights the interconnections between the two museums’ collections—and the exceptional role of the Barberini family as patrons of the arts. Poussin’s The Death of Germanicus (1627) was originally commissioned by Cardinal Francesco Barberini, and the painting remained with descendants of the Barberini family until 1958, when Mia purchased it. In the last few years, Mia has also acquired four other artworks that had been part of the Barberini family collections: The Archangel Michael by Cavaliere d’Arpino, Jacob Wrestling with the Angel by Cristoforo Roncalli, The Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise by Domenico Passignano, and The Crucified Christ Triumphant over Death, Evil, and Sin by Paolo Guidotti.
“We are excited about this collaboration with the Palazzo Barberini, which highlights both remarkable artworks and an exceptional family legacy of support for the arts,” said Katie Luber, Mia’s Nivin and Duncan MacMillan Director and President. “At the same time, this partnership allows us to create an exhibition that shares an Italian masterpiece with new American audiences, while highlighting the strength and depth of Mia’s collection.”
In addition to Judith and Holofernes, the exhibition at Mia will include Minneapolis-based Tina Blondell’s I’ll Make You Shorter by a Head , historical prints including Michael Wolgemut’s Judith and Holofernes, and paintings such as Ignazio Collino’s Judith with the Head of Holofernes. The variety of works lend complexity and nuance to the story of Judith and depict her, variously, as a young beauty, a seductive temptress, a triumphant victor, or a willful villain.
Accompanying the exhibition is a series of Art + Dining and Art + Wine events inspired by Caravaggio. The Art + Dining experience features a private, curator-led tour of the exhibition, an exhibition-inspired multi-course dinner with wine in the galleries, and insights from Mia’s director, curators and the culinary team. The Art + Wine series features private wine tastings, expert-led conversations about art and wine, and walkthroughs of the exhibition.Generous support for the exhibition provided by the Friends of the Institute.