One city
four queens

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"Four female characters. Four stories of courage, dynamism, innocence and rebellion that enabled me to discover intriguing facts about and secrets of Ravenna, the city of mosaics and in particular fathom the mystery of the looks of those women who had experienced the city’s main vicissitudes, but also the difficulties of always and everywhere being a woman."

One city four queens

by Ermanno Tedeschi, Emanuela Fiori, Giovanni Gardini
Italian Institute of Culture
Rue de Livourne 38 – 1000 Brussels
22 September – 15 October 2021

Initially staged in Ravenna, the exhibition One city four queens is brought to Brussels to explore the lives of four famous women of enigmatic Ravenna and within the walls that are witnesses to over a thousand years of the city’s history. Four triptychs in large format to tell the stories of four extraordinary women that are linked and are reinforced in an exhibition that encapsulates the vicissitudes of women who were key figures in the city and the politics of their time: the empresses Galla Placidia and Amalasunta, alongside two romantic heroines, namely Francesca da Rimini, portrayed by Dante in Canto V of the Inferno together with her lover Paolo, and Teresa Gamba Guiccioli, Lord Byron’s lover and author of Vie de Lord Byron en Italie, a French biography of the man whom she had deeply loved.

The hyper-realistic oils on canvas that portray the queens in incredibly precise detail are set off by the lightness and irony of the “sketches”, a form of narrative in images that has always accompanied Carla Chiusano’s work. The sketches are full of irony and detailed historical portrayals. They create unexpected connections between the personalities of the past and modern visitors, they make us smile but also invite us to look more deeply and involve the public in a new way of appreciating a work of art.


Hours of Opening

22 September – 15 October 2021
Monday – Friday: 9.30 am – 1.00 pm / 2.00 pm – 5.00 pm
Saturday and Sunday closed
Free entrance

Italian Institute of Culture

Rue de Livourne 38
1000 Brussels


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