Padre Matteo Ricci



The exhibition Matteo Ricci. Incontro di civiltà nella Cina dei Ming (Matteo Ricci. A meeting of Cultures in China in the Ming dynasty, for the first time in China, follows in the steps of Matteo Ricci and reconstructs the events of his life. Matteo Ricci was a Jesuit from Marche, a hero of the cultural history of the world: the first man to establish a solid cultural bridge between the West and China, opening up to the world the great country and the end of the Ming dynasty.

On the occasion of the 400th anniversary of his death, the exhibition documents the first significant meeting between European and Chinese cultures. It reconstructs the complex journey, physical, cultural and spiritual undertaken by Ricci and his companions together with a large circle of Chinese intellectuals.

The exhibition presents a selection of 200 works which come from the most important Italian and Chinese museums. It includes masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance (Raphael, Titian, Lotto, Barocci) which will be shown in China for the first time as well as priceless works which document the art and culture of the Ming empire.

At this time of the opening up of China to the world, the exhibition aims to tell the story of the European and Chinese intellectuals, who, together, at the beginning of the modern age laid the foundation for this opening and worked to establish ties of scientific learning and friendship.

At that time the two worlds knew very little about each other. It was Ricci who connected them and his works show them as two halves of one whole. The importance of this exchange and the greatness of the man who was at the heart of it were expressed by the Chinese title bestowed upon Ricci. Although they were diffident about meeting foreigners, the Chinese conferred on Padre Matteo Ricci the unprecedented title of Xitai, "the maestro from the far Occident".

The exhibition is divided into two parts which are connected by an intermezzo of Ricci's journey from Macerata to Macao which uses virtual technology and 3D.

·        Records of the examples of objects illustrating European culture, particularly Italian culture which Ricci took with him to show to the Chinese world

The journey taken by Ricci from Macao (1582) to Beijing (1601 - 1610) and documentation of what Ricci and his Chinese friends achieved



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