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Precious Emotions of Italy’s Jewish Community through the Art of Textiles, on Show at the Uffizi until 27th October 2019

If you wish to learn more about the Italian Jewish community, then this summer do not miss the exhibition The Colours of Judaism in Italy. Precious Textiles, from the Temple of Jerusalem to Ready-to-Wear Fashion, taking place at the Uffizi Gallery from 27th June to 27th October 2019. Curated by Dora Liscia Bemporad and Olga Melasecchi, this exhibition gathers 140 works including tapestries, laces, fabrics and various ornaments used in daily life and for religious use inside the Aula Magliabechiana. This exhibition takes us from the ancient world right up to the fashions of the 20th century and to modern textile manufacturing, addressing key themes such as the role of writing as a decorative motif, the use of textiles in synagogues, embroidery as a secret labour, and the role of women. What emerges is a Judaism which cares for tradition, but which also proves to be joyous, colourful, and rich in hidden meanings and symbols.Spotlight on a curtain used for the Torah ark coming from the Jewish Museum of Rome, as well as another one from the Pisa Synagogue and a textile panel from the ‘Badia Fiorentina church hanging’ which originally adorned the walls of the church during the most solemn celebrations. All these fabrics are in tooled velvet interwoven with gold thread in the “griccia” motif, a pomegranate on a sinuous stem, which may well be the textile design that best symbolises the Renaissance in Tuscany.

Director of Uffizi Galleries, Eike Schmidt, explained: “It is a wide-ranging exhibition exploring a theme never yet addressed before now. Visitors will be stunned by the variety and richness of the items on display. These fabrics tell the brimming, riveting story of the Jewish community in Italy”.

Alessandra Di Castro, President of the Foundation for the Jewish Museum of Rome, remarked: “This exhibition concerns everyone and emphasises a common heritage – an unbelievable heritage in terms of both its quality and its sheer quantity – which needs to be enhanced and protected, but above all, its story needs to be told so that people can become acquainted with it in all its rich variety”.

(Fiamma Domestici)