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
Museo Nazionale di Ravenna – Via San Vitale, 17
7 May – 11 July 2021

The exhibition One city four queens was hosted in the old Benedictine Monastery of San Vitale and is an exploration of 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.


Watch the interview with Carla Chiusano and Emanuela Fiori, the Museo Nazionale di Ravenna’s director, on Ravenna Web TV

Hours of Opening

7 May – 11 July 2021
Monday – Friday: 2.00 – 7.30 pm
Saturday: 8.30 am – 2.00 pm
1st and 3rd Sunday every month: 8.30 am – 2.00 pm
(last entrance: 30 minutes before closing)

Entrance fees

Full €6.00
Reduced to €2.00 for European citizens between 18 and 25
Free for visitors below 18
Booking and access infos: +39 320 9539916 / +39 388 8783020 /

Museo Nazionale di Ravenna

Via San Vitale, 17
Tel. +39 0544 213902 (biglietteria)


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