For the first time ever, items from Naples’ Museum of San Gennaro’s Treasure will go on show in Rome, showcasing extraordinary works of the goldsmith's art, reports Italy magazine.
The exhibition The Treasure Of Naples opens at the Italian capital’s Museo Fondazione Roma at Palazzo Sciarra on October 30, running until February 16. For the first time, more than 90 works from one of the most important collections of goldsmiths’ art in the world will be presented outside Naples next to original documents, paintings, drawings and vestments.
San Gennaro (St Januarius) is the patron saint of Naples and one of the most popular Catholic saints in the world. The exhibition examines the evolution of the cult of San Gennaro in Naples, why the treasure belongs to a lay institution, and how Neapolitan goldsmiths’ art has been perfected over the centuries, giving rise to most of the masterpieces on display.
The show will revolve around the two most extraordinary masterpieces: the ‘Necklace of San Gennaro’ made by Michele Dato in 1679, and the gilded silver ‘Mitre’ created by Matteo Treglia in 1713 with its 3,326 diamonds, 164 rubies, 198 emeralds and two garnets.
The ‘Necklace of San Gennaro’ is one of the most precious pieces of jewellery in the world and its history is intertwined with the devotion accorded to the saint. It has a large solid gold mesh on which are hung crosses studded with sapphires, emeralds and diamonds donated by royals such as Charles III of Spain, Maria Carolina of Austria, Victor Emmanuel II of Italy and the elder brother of Napoleon Bonaparte, Joseph.