Lorenzo Puglisi in front of Buonarroti


Lorenzo Puglisi | Davanti a Michelangelo

Crocifissione, umanità, mistero

Basilica di Santo Spirito

Piazza santo spirito 30 | Firenze

09.20.2020 | 11.01.2020

Opening 09.19.2020 at 11.30

Speeches by Cardinale Giuseppe Betori Arcivescovo di Firenze, Padre Giuseppe Pagano, Vittorio Sgarbi, Davide Rondoni

In one of the most significant Florentine basilicas, the essentiality in painting will be compared with the "fleshiness and softness" of sculpture, as Giorgio Vasari writes.

As part of the celebrations for the 20th anniversary of the return of Michelangelo's Crucifix to the monumental complex of Santo Spirito in Florence, the Augustinian community will welcome the presence of the Crucifixion by Lorenzo Puglisi, right next to Buonarroti's Crucifix of Santo Spirito.

On Saturday 19 September, at 11.30 in the Basilica of Santo Spirito in Florence, the exhibition “Lorenzo Puglisi | Before Michelangelo. Crucifixion, humanity, mystery ”. Organized by Francesca Sacchi Tommasi of Etra studio in collaboration with ArtCom Project, the exhibition offers the exhibition of Puglisi's painting depicting the Crucifixion next to the famous wooden Crucifix, an early work by Michelangelo Buonarroti, in the Sacristy of the Florentine Basilica. The exhibition will remain visible until next November 1st 2020.

In addition to the author of the painting, Cardinal Giuseppe Betori, Archbishop of Florence, the art historian Vittorio Sgarbi and the poet Davide Rondoni who will read a poem composed for the occasion.

20 years after the return of Michelangelo's Christ

The wooden Crucifix that Michelangelo Buonarroti sculpted between 1493 and 1494 "to please the prior", that is, to thank him for his hospitality and the opportunity to study anatomy, had remained hidden for centuries, in the sense that they had been lost the traces. However, its existence was testified by the writings of Vasari and it was precisely this that prompted the scholar Margrit Lisner to deepen her research which, thanks to the reception of the Augustinian father Guido Balestri, allowed the discovery of the naked Christ and its attribution to Michelangelo .

From 1962, the year of its rediscovery, until today, the Crucifix has lived a long history that has led it to Casa Buonarroti, where it remained until December 2000, when the Augustinians, after many attempts, managed to bring it back "to home ".

In the Basilica of Santo Spirito, however, due to architectural transformations it was not possible to put it back in its original location - occupied by the altar by Caccini - so the Barbadori Chapel of Giuliano da Sangallo's Sacristy was chosen.

An exhibition, two crucifixes

In one of the basilicas symbol of the Florentine Diladdarno, for about 40 days, the Crucifix of Santo Spirito and the Crucifixion by Lorenzo Puglisi, an artist who lives and works in Bologna, who created an oil painting on a poplar panel shaped in the shape of di Croce - taking up a historical-artistic tradition that originates from the painting of primitives and that in contemporary art was completely lost -, with a black background, on which only the results of his "search for essentiality" appear, that is the representations of the head inclined, of the hands and feet of the dead Christ on the cross.

As Father Pagano writes, «Lorenzo Puglisi will be in front of Michelangelo to express all the power of the Crucifixion, all Humanity and the Mystery. Thus Lorenzo's interest in human nature and the mystery of existence remains, trying to depict it with a painting in the dark, as if to express that light that is there, which pushes, but which is still held back by the darkness, just as Michelangelo demolishes the reality of death on the cross with the beauty and the smile that are already the expression of a reality different from what one sees ».

For his part, Puglisi emphasizes that "the Crucifixion is a symbolic and real image at the same time, both in the Christian tradition and in the most intimate reflection on the condition, the possibility and the raison d'etre of man, as it can be understood from the knowledge transmitted to us over time by the ancients, in numerous forms. The vision of Michelangelo's sculpture touches the heart and has a rare lightness and delicacy. For me as a painter, the need to look for a vital and sculptural painting immediately emerged, and Michelangelo was a great teacher. So my attempt at painting turns to the vision of something that is other than the empirical visible, but with which it is inseparably intertwined, mixed with it; the search for the essential of representation, as ambition and purpose, is linked to the search for essentiality in life and is a consequence and hope of knowing. Crucifixion, humanity, mystery. It's all in these three words».


Lorenzo Puglisi | Davanti a Michelangelo. Crocifissione, umanità, mistero

20.09.2020 | 01.11.2020

Basilica di Santo Spirito | Piazza santo spirito 30 | Firenze

Inaugurazione | Sabato 19.09.2020 ore 11.30

Open: monday/saturday h. 10-12.45 am e 3-5.45 pm; sunday h. 11.30-1.15 am e 3-5.45 pm; wednesday closed 

Crocifissione 2020 oil on wood 258 x 193 cm


oil on wood

258 x 193 cm

Lorenzo Puglisi in front of Buonarroti