quarta-feira, 3 de julho de 2019

Vai um gin do Peter’s ?

O VATICANO CHEGA À CHINA COM ARTE

O mote para a parceria entre a Santa Sé e o Império do Meio ficou bem condensado na expressão usada pela Directora dos Museus do Vaticano ao resumir o sentido da exposição que está no Palácio Museu da antiga Cidade Proibida (entre 1420 e 1911): «A Beleza é um veículo extraordinário para falar sempre, em cada latitude e longitude, física ou temporal. Sem medo, sem barreiras». O próprio título da mostra é auto-explicativo: «A beleza une-nos – Arte chinesa dos Museus do Vaticano».

Catálogo oficial da exposição. 

Até 14 de Julho, ficarão expostas no coração da China imperial 76 obras cedidas pelo Papado. Abrangem arte erudita e popular, de credos budista e católico, maioritariamente de artistas chineses. As marcas orientais ressaltam nas feições e nos trajes das figuras, além de alguma vegetação e fauna desconhecidas no Ocidente. Como explica o site do museu chinês, encontra-se, por exemplo, uma ‘Última Ceia’ que lembra Leonardo, embora depois esbarremos com peculiaridades de outras paragens.

As peças vindas da Europa também dialogam com o património do Palácio Museu, que selecionou trabalhos do poeta-pintor católico Wu Li (1632-1718) e do jesuíta milanês Giuseppe Castiglione, conhecido na China pelo nome de Lang Shining (1688-1766). Deste modo, a arte testemunha os períodos de proximidade e inter-ajuda sino-cristãs, que as fases de hostilidade posteriores não conseguiram apagar. 

«A Primavera chegou ao Lago», de Wu Li, pintado em rolo de pendurar.  Museu de Xangai. 

Pinturas do milanês, valorizadas no património artístico da China. 
O trajar do ocidental, na tela da esquerda, prova a aculturação perfeita do pintor-missionário.
E o seu domínio das técnicas e tradições pictóricas locais, por um lado,  a par do manancial de instrumentos náuticos de origem europeia, por outro, ilustram a riqueza deste encontro entre civilizações distantes.

É curioso reconhecer a mesma fusão entre estéticas ocidental e oriental em obras de chineses do século XX, repetindo o fenómeno observado nos séc. XVII e XVIII. Servem de exemplo três peças novecentistas pertencentes ao Vaticano, mas de autoria asiática. A primeira presta homenagem ao Papa João Paulo II e a terceira homenageia uma figuras recorrente na arte sacra europeia – Maria. As legendas provêm do site do museu de Pequim: 

«Landscape», 1978, Ink and colour on paper, 58.7 x 39.5 cm, inv. 126301.
This landscape was painted in Rome by the master Huang Junbi (1898-1991) in 1978 and was dedicated to Pope John Paul II. Its title is shan gao shui chang (One’s nobility lasts forever). Literally translated, the title means “high as a mountain and long as a river”, a Chinese expression indicating that one’s nobility (reputation or nobility of character) lasts forever.
The structure of the painting follows all the rules for the temporal and spatial arrangement of the components of shanshui (Chinese landscape painting), doing so in order to provide a number of visual devices that draw the viewer into the scene and suggest the path to be taken when looking at it.»

«Cross», early 20th century , Cloisonné, 140 x 65 x 20 cm, Inv.119968
This cross is a faithful reproduction of the one in the Beijing Catholic Church, the North Church (The Church of the Saviour). Cloisonné is a craft familiar to the Chinese. It is commonly known as jingtailan where copper is used as the inner material.»

«Madonna and Child in a Typical Chinese Garden», early 20th century, Ink and colour on paper, 205 x 68 cm 205*77 , Inv. 125461
In Catholic figurative art, there is a fondness for representations of Mary (often called “Madonna”—My Lady) and the child Jesus.  One example is the painting on a hanging scroll from the early 20th century entitled Madonna and Child in a Typical Chinese Garden. Although subjects chosen by the artist are Catholic, his paintings could be included among the most classic examples of Chinese painting with regard to their setting, their composition, and their conception of the human figure. The Madonna, Jesus and the Angel have oriental features, are dressed in the Chinese style and are depicted in a garden in which there is a towering rock. The spatial composition and choice of component elements recall one of the masterpieces of Song Dynasty (960-1279) painting by Su Hanchen (act. 1130-1160). It is a unique reflection of Catholic religion in the context of Chinese culture.»

A mesma temática da Fuga para o Egipto surge na tela de um chinês face-a-face com a de um italiano. Diferentes épocas e diferentes cosmovisões:



É também curioso ser o Director do museu chinês quem cita a grande exposição internacional de 1925, que reuniu no Vaticano a quantidade astronómica de 100.000 obras, para mostrar à Europa a beleza oriunda de culturas muito distantes. Segundo o responsável chinês, aquela iniciativa do Papa Pio XI (1857-1939) prova o alto valor que a Igreja Católica atribui à Arte, enquanto veículo privilegiado da comunicação universal. 

Não sendo fácil dar um salto à Cidade Proibida, até 14 de Julho, seguem mais algumas peças do conjunto emprestado ao país mais populoso do mundo. 

«Adam and Eve in the Earthly Paradise, Wenzel Peter, end of the 18th century. Oil on canvas, 247 x 336 cm, inv. 41266.
Under a large tree, Eve, the first woman, offers the forbidden fruit, to Adam, the first man. The evil Serpent, who is coiled around tree trunk, had convinced her to disobey God’s command. This act shatters the wonderful harmony of the Earthly Paradise, here depicted by the splendors of vegetation, water, and landscape, and by an incredible number of animals and birds. The artist is the Bohemian-born painter Wenzel Peter, who in 1774 moved to Rome from Vienna, where he was an illustrator of books and engraver. It was in Rome, where he studied, that he painted this huge canvas, which he signed Wenceslaus Peter fecit Romae ( Wenceslas Peter made this in Rome). The artist’s attention to naturalistic provides, as it were, an index of the encyclopedic culture of the period. Showing an extraordinary knowledge of botany and zoology, Peter depicts countless plants and more than 240 animals and birds from around the world. Apart from its religious significance, this painting shows a harmony between human and nature, which expresses the main idea of this exhibition: great harmony between civilizations.»

«Shakyamuni Buddha, Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Gilded and lacquered bronze 40 x 27 x 21 cm, Inv. 120523.
Statue of the penitent Buddha Shakyamuni with both hands resting on his left knee. The Buddha has curly hair in pepper-corn style, which shows the ushnisha, a protuberance at the top of his head. This kind of iconography goes back to the sculpture that developed in the Indian region of Gandhara between the 2th and the 3th centuries CE. This statue was made in China during the Ming period (1368-1644).»

«Handscroll: The Great Wall (Detail), Kangxi reign (1662-1722), Qing Dynasty Ink and colour on silk, 38 x 775 cm, inv. 114427.
One of the most interesting objects in the collection of Cardinal Cesare Borgia (1731-1804) was a long, painted handscroll with a detailed map. The scroll, dating from the years between 1680 and 1700—during the Kangxi Emperor’s reign (1662-1722)—shows the Great Wall and the different territories that it crosses. The depictions and captions provide detailed knowledge of the area—its mountains, rivers, cities, wells, military camps and garrisons. A peculiar feature of the scroll is that the north is at the bottom of the map, following an ancient Chinese practice.»

«Imperial Robe, Qianlong reign (1736-1795), Qing Dynasty, silk, cotton, 142 x 230 cm, Inv. 111216.
This is an imperial yellow silk garment from the 18th century. It features tight, long sleeves with a horse hoof cuff, called matixiu. The decoration follows the usual pattern: from the bottom upwards, there is a vertical water pattern, a lishui, which forms the spiraling waves, pingshui, of the Cosmic Ocean, out of which rises the cosmic Kunlun Mountain. The garment is decorated with the twelve traditional Chinese emblems of imperial authority and with traditional symbolic animals. At chest level and in the center, there is a five-clawed dragon depicted in the classic circular position that has the dragon chasing the flaming pearl, leizhu. The imperial attire of the Qing includes a rich symbolic apparatus, which combines styles of northeast dress and iconography traditionally associated with the imperial power. In 1759 the Emperor Qianlong (1736–1795) drew up a veritable corpus of laws with established and hierarchically organized models, genders, colors, decorations, accessories and insignia of rank, bringing order to practices that had become widespread, but were only partially enshrined in law. The main purpose of this legislation was to make the positions and functions of the different members of the imperial household immediately recognizable through their dress and accessories. There are also two dragons rising up from the waist, and dragon patterns are also decorated on the shoulders and back of the robe.»

A par da mostra na Cidade Proibida, há mais antiguidades da Santa Sé em Pequim, expostas no pavilhão da Exposição Internacional de Horticultura (até Outubro). Ali estão, por exemplo, um herbário e uma monografia sobre as propriedades medicinais de ervas e plantas, vindos da Biblioteca Vaticana. 

Cerca de um século depois de terminar a presença missionária europeia no Império do Meio, que saiu com o último imperador, a arte relança a ponte entre a Cristandade e a maior potência da Ásia, num gesto e numa linguagem bem à medida da era da imagem e das redes sociais. Depois, com infinita liberdade e originalidade, o Espírito de todos os tempos e lugares soprará onde e como quiser.  


Maria Zarco
(a  preparar o próximo gin tónico, para daqui a 2 semanas)

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