In Christo / Bо Xrисtе is the title of an extraordinary exhibition, an exchange of masterpieces, which in the name of faith and art brings together great works, bearing witness to an affinity between cultures that share their Byzantine heritage.
From 21 December 2011 to 19 March 2012, three precious, ancient Russian icons were hosted for devotion in the Baptistery in Florence under the mosaic of Christ Pantokrator. These were the majestic icon of the Mother of God Odigitria, created at the end of the thirteenth century, the icon of the Ascension of 1408, linked to the artistic production of the greatest icon painter in the Russian tradition, the holy monk Andrej Rublev, and the icon of the Crucifixion, composed by Dionisij in 1500. For all three sacred works this was their first return to a sacred place.
At the same time, in Moscow, at the Tretyakov State Gallery, where the Russian icons came from, two great works by Giotto da Bondone and his workshop, from the Opera del Duomo in Florence, were exhibited for the first time: the Madonna and Child of 1280-1290 and the Polyptych of Santa Reparata.
The exhibition has given rise to a prestigious volume published by the Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana Giovanni Treccani, with introductions by Italian and Russian authorities and a collection of thematic essays with a historical-artistic and historical-theological slant.
In the opening greeting of the President of the Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, it is possible to find the deepest sense and the long-term vision of the exhibition:
It is not without emotion that we feel in this exchange the pulse of generations and personalities – from Tarkovsky to La Pira, from Muratov to Nikodim – who have cultivated the art of listening, in Italy and in Russia, in the most diverse fields of research and thought.