Exhibition “Il Disegno del Mondo”


Exhibition “Il Disegno del Mondo”


Saturday 26 August 2023 at 10.30 am inauguration of the exhibition Il Disegno del Mondo, a selection of cartographic, veduta and library works produced from 1400 to 1800 which will be exhibited in the Exhibition Rooms on the Second Floor of the Castle of Monferrato until 15th October 2023.

The exhibition, in association with Consulta Cultura of Casale Monferrato and the Italian Association of Collectors of Antique Cartography, is open to visitors from Wednesday to Friday from 10.30 am to 12.30 pm and from 2.30 pm to 5.30 pm; on Saturday and Sunday, it will be open from 10 am to 1 pm and from 3 pm
to 7 pm.

The exhibition route, curated by Marco Garione (President of Consulta Cultura of Casale Monferrato), presents more than one hundred works and develops through seven different themed routes; each has been assigned a specific colour, to clearly address the visitors.

Immaginare il Cosmo e oltre: “From the origins of science-Knowledge of the classical Ptolemaic period of the world of the first and second century AD to the Copernican revolutions of the Renaissance the passage has been long, unstable, and full of shadows. From the Ptolemaic projections, which astronomically present a system of the Cosmos with the Earth at the centre of the entire universe to the Peutinger Table of the earth known in the Roman period and for the entire Middle Ages the revealed world and the “imagined “world the representations of the Earth were inspired by the description of the universe according to a strictly biblical reading, at least in our Old Europe.
Only in the 15th and in the 16th century AD, thanks to the research and studies of Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler and Brahe, this earth-centric idea was abandoned to reach, with good reason, and challenging centuries of history, the view of the world and of the cosmos we still use today”.

Tracciare i Mondi da scoprire: “We have reached the height of the Renaissance and after the Colombian discovery of the American continent the science of cartography acknowledges a new design of the world. The discoveries of Vespucci, Diaz and Magellan reshape the flat paper (planisphere) of the world with scientific precision.
A short time later, in the late 16th century, comes the birth of collections of geographical maps for a vast public (scholars, merchants) and the publication of the first Atlases in Holland by Mercator, Ortelio and Bleau: collections of geographical visions not only of the territory but also of the shape of the cities.
Between the 1600s and 1700s the territory of the American continent is described in the Atlases of Homann and Seutter. It is necessary to wait until the end of the 18th century, with Cook's travels, to “discover” the Australian continent (1768-1771)”.
Descrivere La Terra, Le Terre: “With the development of cartography and mathematical projections, between the 16th and the 17th century a new science is born which also looks with an artistic eye to the evolution of geographical maps. A representation begins, not only physical but also geo-politically of the territories with the identification of states, principalities and borders.
The Italians, with the Piedmontese geographer Gastaldi and the Roman Lafrerian collections, are among the first proponents of modern cartography.
Towards the end of the 16th century and the early 17th century we see the golden period of Dutch cartography with, for example, the atlases of Mercator and Orteglio, true physical-geographical monuments enclosed in magnificent maps of great artistic and scientific value.
Contemporarily, with Hogenberg, come the Atlases dedicated to the bigger cities: it is the true birth of the veduta, with the purpose of representing the social politics of the territory.
It was a short step between “graphic” Atlas and the production of “travel” books. Predecessors of the current tour guides, often richly illustrated, travel books are almost never autobiographical stories but real reportages on places, people and customs. These literary works had a great circulation during the period of the Grand Tour: each home with a library had to have at least one, like the shelves of “fashionable” bookshops. The success of travel books had an “economic” and curious development: publishing companies often competed on the number of images and pages. Therefore: pages in view and bon voyage…”

Conquistare i territori contesi: “Important, in the history of cartography, are the drawings and the prints, loose or in collections, which reveal the territories for military or commemorative purposes. These representations of towns or occupied territories, besieged or conquered, are often held in military archives, when they are drawings, and sometimes covered by secrecy.
These maps have a specific purpose: study the strong or weak points of the strongholds which surround the cities or more simply the orography and the brief description of the defence of a location.
Following the conquest, if it happens, the maps become celebratory of the military campaign “paying tribute” to the winner marking the new conquered territories and the important cities.
A large number of maps are on the sieges suffered by Casale”.

Fantasticare il paese che non c’è: “A note of lightness and fun runs through this narrative segment in which we find works that touch on the cartographic theme in its technical and scientific part and interpret it with works of pure, often ironic, imagination.
We find the “carte della Cuccagna”, for example, fashionable in the late 16th century and proposed by Remondini in his famous and prolific printing works of Bassano, or maps of symbolic and allegorical territories, sometimes present in the Atlases of great publishers.
Welcome to an ancient “Imaginary land” which is always contemporary…”

Riconoscere Le Terre di Piemonte: “This sector hosts some rare maps related to Piedmont before and after the passage to the Savoy family and during the wars of expansion, natural continuation of the preceding “Carte di Conquista”.
Of particular interest are the two 16th century maps, one signed by the Piedmontese Gastaldi, working in Venice between 1545 and 1565, the other taken from the collection of prints realised by the Roman Lafreri".

Guardare la Terra di Monferrato: “Casale, capital of Monferrato until the early 1700s when it became part of Savoy Piedmont, enjoyed an important number of graphic and cartographic representations due to its military position. The citadel of Casale, among the most powerful and armoured in Europe, and among the most difficult to conquer, yielded only to “voluntary” demolition. Scores of maps for military use represent the city and its territory, but often the city profile – at times imaginative – embellished the “civilian” maps and the atlases”.

The Mayor Federico Riboldi and the Councillor for Culture Gigliola Fracchia point out: “The Municipal Administration is convinced that quality cultural policies are an investment for the city and for the territory of Casale Monferrato and this becomes tangible in events like this which, by enriching the exhibition offer of the Castle of Monferrato, adds a new piece to a path that embraces culture in all its forms: from visual arts, to music, to history, to social sciences [...]”

“Il Disegno del Mondo”
Castle of Monferrato
Piazza Castello, Casale Monferrato
From 26 August to 15 October 2023
Free admission
Wednesday, Thursday and Friday: 10.30 – 12.30 pm and 2.30 pm – 5.30 pm
Saturday and Sunday: 10 am – 1 pm and 3 pm – 7 pm

Inauguration on Saturday 26 August at 10.30 am

Information and contacts
Castello del Monferrato - Casale Monferrato