Luxus, lo Stupore della Bellezza exhibited in Milan

Luxury without beauty is just ostentatious wealth (Stefano Zecchi).

An exhibition on luxury curated by Prof. Stefano Zecchi, professor of aesthetics and president of the foundation of the same name that aims to educate to beauty through targeted training. Beauty and luxury in an inseparable combination find space and splendor in the rooms of the Palazzo Reale in Milan. Each room dedicated to a theme is enriched with unique and precious objects of the best Italian craftsmanship, as well as works of art from various Italian museums and private collections.

Luxury according to the search for beauty finds space in eleven rooms dedicated to as many themes: The Entrance, the Palace, the Treasure, the Space-Time, the Cinema, the Light, the Vanity, the Secret Garden, the Masks, the Carousel, Lust.

A  vital  relationship  between  ancient  and modern that made it possible  to showcase luxury objects in original and evocative sets that  enhance the creativity of the artists who created  them. The concept of luxury has accompanied, in its beauty, the western culture in a constant and brilliant intertwining with the oriental one. The meeting between tradition and innovation, between near and far, is expressed through the high luxury craftsmanship and is told through suggestive scenographies that enhance the creativity of the artists.

In an ideal path of education to beauty, through the uniqueness of the precious objects on display, we find numerous creations: Venini’s glasses, bucklers and armories from the Castello Sforzesco in Milan, the artisan jewels of the Maison Roberto Coin, the gold clocks and porcelain from the priceless collection of the Poldi Pezzoli Museum. Next: the Damiani watches, refined dresses from Federico Sangalli’s atelier illuminated by the Dreamlux optical fiber fabric. The re-edition of the set design by Manon Lescaut at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan under the direction of Liliana Cavani, in dialogue with the photographic mosaic by Maurizio Galimberti, is impressive. The original shoes of Giuseppe Zanotti’s atelier recount the luxury of contemporary femininity. The Vittoriale degli Italiani Foundation has lent the sumptuous mantle of Gabriele D’Annunzio, exhibited together with the refined brocades of the Rubelli manufacture, with porcelains and silver from the Casa Geminiano Cozzi and Zaramella. Superb majolica and goldsmiths on display come from the Museum of Decorative Arts of the Castello Sforzesco. Nature finds space and interpretation in this exhibition mainly in a work by Kirsty Mitchell, Wonderland, who arrived in Milan after having traveled the world. Pink and pearly flamingos surround a fountain that diffuses Amarone Masi instead of water. The masks that hide and unveil welcome the visitor and amaze for the extraordinary work done by the Atelier of Venice, Antonia Sautter, and fluctuate together with jewels and sculptural figures of glass by well-known contemporary designers.

Fashion finds space on a carousel, which traces the history of the costume revolving around itself and proposing dresses from Palazzo Morando in Milan. But also the Museum of Natural History, through the roar of a tiger, has contributed to this extraordinary exhibition dedicated to luxury and beauty that finally leads the visitor from luxury to lux, or rather to lust, placed in the last exhibition area , in the hall of the four columns of Palazzo Reale. Style, excess, hedonism, or lux and luxuria, the Apollonian and the Dionysian of existence are reflected in food, wine, and symbols of temptation. An imperial table set on a Riva 1920 table in millenarian wood on which stands the risotto with gold leaf, a world-famous dish created by Gualtiero Marchesi embellished by the Amarone Masi. In the center of the room a further loan of the Museum of Natural History, or a reticulated python that wraps itself in a golden cage. Sculptures by Marcello Pietrantoni, moving images by Cesare Cicardini complete, along with clothes and curious objects, the path of this extraordinary exhibition.

It is possible to visit the exhibition Luxus, the Stupor of Beauty until 30 September 2018. The exhibition is promoted and produced by the Municipality of Milan – Culture and Royal Palace.