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Official Tourist Information Site
Municipality of Ravenna

MAR – Ravenna Art Museum

Via di Roma, 13 - Ravenna
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Art lovers cannot miss a visit to the MAR – Art Museum of the city of Ravenna. With exhibitions, festivals and a collection of modern and ancient art, this place is one of the beating hearts of the city’s cultural life.

The museum is in the area of the public gardens, in the sixteenth-century monastery knowned as Loggetta Lombardesca, which was once part of the adjacentabbey of Santa Maria in Porto. From Napoleon’s invasions onwards, this building underwent namely several reconversions of use.

What remains today is the original structure and rooms, and the elegant loggia with five arches, which has become the emblem of the museum’s architecture.

The MAR, once the municipal art gallery (Pinacoteca Comunale), became an official museum institution in 2002, relaunching the city’s cultural and exhibition activities alongside important conservation and research initiatives, such as the International Mosaic Documentation Centre (CIDM).

The museum’s collections

The first nucleus of the art gallery is composed of works acquired in 1982 from the city’s religious corporations, further enriched over the years thanks to donations and private bequests.

It is a great treasure that counts over three-hundred works of art, with paintings and sculptures between the 14th and the 19th century, plus a large collection of small-format panels from the 14th and 15th centuries.

The tomb of Guidarello Guidarelli, made by Tullio Lombardo in 1525, is a very important piece of the museum. Also, Giorgio Vasari’s 1548 painting Lamentation over Christ Deposed from the Cross, commissioned by the Monastery of Classe, is of fundamental importance, as well as the great canvas of St. Romuald by Guercino, magnificent for its colours and composition.

Nonetheless, the art gallery is also open to modernity.

The contemporary collection features a female nude by Klimt, whereas the second half of the twentieth century is documented by the most important names of Roman Pop Art, such as Schifano and Tano Festa, as well as by the the great names of Abstractionism, such as Veronesi, Boetti, Dadamaino, Olivieri, Castellani, Griffa, Mondino and Cattelan.

In addition, the museum hosts a suggestive collection of contemporary mosaics, thanks to the scholar Giuseppe Bovini, who donated the original nucleus with the aim of highlighting the refined technique of Ravenna mosaic artists, adjusting it to the spirit of contemporary painting.

The exhibition displays names of the likes of Guttuso, Capogrossi, Vedova and Chagall, entrusted to draw the sketches of future mosaic works.Furthermore, the collection is constantly enhanced with new works; despite being in mosaic, they manage to overcome the traditional technique’s orthodoxy

The museum also includes a busy educational programme, which aims to promote knowledge of the temporary and permanent collections, and to bring the younger public closer to art, organizing events, workshops and animated guided tours.

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The statue of Guidarello Guidarelli

Guidarello Guidarelli was born between 1450 and 1460. He was appointed knight by Frederick III in 1468 and, later, in 1500, the Italian commander of Cesare Borgia. He died in Imola one year later, in 1501.

According to a historical witness, the commander fell victim to a vengeance organized by Cesare Borgia himself and wreaked by the hand of Paolo Orsini. According to another source, though, a more solid one, the murder was committed for a much more trivial reason — the restitution of a shirt.

However, Guidarello transmitted his last wishes still in time, asking to bring back to Ravenna his body, and bury it in a sepulchre in the church of San Francesco, in the chapel of San Liberio, together with the other members of the Del Sale family.

Guidarello had also earmarked the sum of 600 ducats for the creation of a sculpture to adorn his burial place. Originally, the tomb’s slab rested on an ancient sarcophagus inside the chapel of San Liberio. It was later moved to the Quadrarco di Braccioforte, near the tomb of Dante Alighieri and other eminent Ravenna families.

After several relocations, in 1972 it was finally moved to the second floor of the new premises of the Ravenna Art Museum, where it can still be admired today.

The statue of the warrior is accompanied by a legend: every woman who touches his marble lips will be married within the year, or, if she’s already married, she will be pregnant within the following twelve months.

Over the course of two centuries, an estimated five million women have succumbed to the temptation of kissing the marble knight. In the past, it was even decided to hide the statue and replace it with a copy, to prevent repeated contact from damaging it. Today, after a careful restoration, it is forbidden to approach the slab and touch it.

In Europe, Guidarello became known through the stories of the Grand Tour travellers; even Louise Colet, companion of the French writer Gustave Flaubert, wrote about it. Reproductions of Guidarello are exhibited in different parts of the world: at the South Kensington Museum in London, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the Museum of Buenos Aires.

Gabriele D’Annunzio also wrote about Guidarello in his composition Ravenna.

Further information

Opening times

Tuesday to Saturday: 9am – 6pm
Sunday and holidays (1 Nov., 8 Dec., 26 Dec., 1 and 6 Jan. 2022): 2pm – 7pm

Special late openings
Friday 22 October – Notte d’Oro:
9am – 10pm
Sunday 31 October – Halloween: 10am – 11pm

Last admission: 30 minutes before closing time.

COVID-19: INFORMATION FOR VISITORS
Access to the monument is allowed only on presenting the EU Digital COVID Certificate (Green Pass) or an equivalent certificate issued by the health authorities (or negative test result performed in the last 48 hours), compulsory for everyone over the age of 12.

For further information, see: Covid-19 updates: information for tourists

Closing time

The museum is closed on Mondays

Entrance fee

Permanent collection
Full-ticket: €6
Concession ticket and groups: €5

Exhibition Un’Epopea POP + museum
Full-ticket: €10
Concession and groups: €8
Teachers and students: €5

Free of charge

Free admission for people with disabilities and carers, teachers with school groups, journalists and tourist guides.

How to get there

On foot: the museum is in the heart of the city centre, about 500 m. from the railway station. Nearby are the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, the Planetarium, the so-called Theodoric’s Palace and the Church of Santa Maria in Porto.

By bus: bus parking area about 150 m. from the museum. In viale Santi Baldini stops bus no. 4

By car: car parking in Via di Roma, just 50 m. away from the museum.

Accessibility

The Museum is equipped with an elevator and a descent ramp to the portico.

A cura della Redazione Locale
E-mail: turismo@comune.ravenna.it

Last edit:1 October 2021

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