dedicated to Giovanni Antonio Cybei, the first and historic director of the Carrara Academy of Fine Arts, the exhibition is divided into four locations of exceptional beauty: the Carmi Museum, Palazzo Cucchiari, Palazzo Binelli and the Academy itself. “Cybei and his time” is the title of an exhibition (curated by Gerardo de Simone and Luciano Massari) the result of years of work and study, painstakingly put together with very rare and never exhibited pieces from private collections throughout Europe, documentation of the State Archives and pieces “buried” in museums and in the same Carrara Academy, who had never before celebrated his first mentor.
Carrara, from 9 July to 10 October the exhibition dedicated to Giovanni Cybei
Giovanni Antonio Cybei (1706-1784) little known and little studied; was born in Carrara to a fabric merchant of Jewish origin, an orphan at the age of four, he grew up in the workshop of the famous Count Giovanni Baratta and became his favorite pupil. Learn to sculpt marble with refined elegance: faces that seem to look at you, clothes that really look embroidered, furs that look soft, eyelashes, wrinkles, curls, pearls and ornaments. Nobody like him seems to manage the chisel, alternating rough parts with shiny parts, to give thickness, depth, brightness. Everyone is looking for it. In 1768 he created, with Carlo Bianconi, the funeral monument of Francesco Algarotti (Pisa, Camposanto), a work that aroused great sensation for its innovative language, a forerunner of classicist trends; in the summer of 1769 Cybei was called to portray Aleksej Orlov, commander of the Russian imperial fleet: the beginning of his social and working rise. In a short time it comes appointedPrimary Director of the Academy of Fine Arts of Carrara. His fame grew thanks to a sequence of fine busts. His works are preserved in Russia, Estonia, Poland, Germany, England, France and the United States. One hundred works on display, by Cybei and her students: exceptional is the bust of Maria Teresa D’Este Cybo Malaspina, founder of the Academy in 1769, duchess of Massa and princess of Carrara. The proud look, the laces, the curls and the ermine fur of a marble that does not have a vein, because it is personally chosen from among the finest of the Apuan Alps; and again the “Two little brothers” who come from England, which according to the curators will be the most photographed busts, because they have no history, no one knows who they are, they wear an unknown coat of arms, pearls and roses in their hair. Also on display is what remains of the immense equestrian monument of Duke Francesco III d’Este, commissioned from Cybei in 1774 for a square in Modena: a monument that was vandalized by a bookseller and then destroyed. A gigantic foot and a finely decorated plate remain, as parts of the monument were pulverized to make kitchen artifacts.
Cos Carrara celebrates the history of Cybei and the 250-year life of his Academy. The exhibition will be open from 9 July to 10 October.