Meravigliose Avventure – The journey of explorers, merchants and pilgrims in an exhibition in Modena


Feeling lost into a world bigger than us. Trying to know what is hidden at the end of the horizon. Finding new cultures, traditions and riches to bring back home. Facing sea monsters, strange birds and monkeys so to be able to tell people about their existence. Since the beginning of the human journey, the need of discovery moved people through a fascinating adventure that is perfectly summed up by the exhibition Meravigliose Avventure (Wonderful Adventures) now open until 6 January 2019 at the Estensi Galleries in Modena.

Jean de Mandeville, Giovan Battista Ramusio, Matteo Ricci, Athanasius Kircher and Carsten Niebuhr, Francesco Gemelli Careri, Sybilla Merian e and many other travelers are the protagonists of this exhibition that show to the visitor a large amount of diaries and books written by them.

Meravigliose Avventure is divided in five parts, one per each continent, and, in addiction to original editions of adventurers and missionary books, you can find a cabinet coming from 18th Century China, maps of every place visited by those travelers, traditional headgears from south American populations and ancient solar clocks with compass.

One of the most curious part of that exhibition, are the manuscripts written on a palm leaf. Palm leaves, in fact, were commonly used as a support for writing in south east Asian countries. Such manuscripts are often mentioned in books written by European travelers.

“Meravigliose Avventure” is curated by Martina Bagnoli, director of the Estensi Galleries, and Annalisa Battini. They collected the best books and diaries from the Biblioteca Estense Universitaria while paintings, sculptures, decorative artworks and ethnographic materials come from the Museo antropologico universitario of Florence and the Musei civici of Modena. This exhibition will show you how was the travel experience of explorers, merchants and pilgrims between 1400 and 1800.

To know more about Meravigliose Avventure, you can click here.

Mendes Biondo & Elena Bello

Let us know if you liked this article and if you’ve seen the works exposed at Meravigliose Avventure in Modena


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