The Rediscovery of a Masterpiece

Palazzo Fava , from 18/05/2020 to 15/02/2021

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“The Rediscovery of a Masterpiece” is an extraordinary exhibition, a completely exceptional event because it brings back to the city of Bologna one of the most important and original works of the Italian Renaissance: the Griffoni Polyptych by Francesco del Cossa and Ercole de’ Roberti.

The exhibition was born from a simple and ambitious idea: to bring together, in the city of origin, the 16 panels that made up one of the most significant masterpieces of the artistic culture of its time, thanks to exceptional loans from all the proprietary museums: London, Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan, Louvre in Paris, National Gallery of Art in Washington, Cagnola Collection in Gazzada (Va), Vatican Museums, Pinacoteca Nazionale in Ferrara, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, Vittorio Cini Collection in Venice.

The exhibition consists of two sections: the first, ” The Griffoni Polyptych Reborn in Bologna “, curated by Mauro Natale in collaboration with Cecilia Cavalca and with the support of the Basilica of San Petronio, focuses on the altarpiece and its context artistic historian; the second, “The Materiality of the Aura. New Technologies for Preservation“, curated by Adam Lowe, Guendalina Damone and the Factum Foundation team, is dedicated to the importance of new technologies in the protection and sharing of cultural heritage.

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On the noble floor of Palazzo Fava it is possible to admire the 16 original panels of the Griffoni Polyptych, the altarpiece dedicated to San Vincenzo Ferrer commissioned around 1470-1472 by Floriano Griffoni to Francesco del Cossa from Ferrara – an artist already active in those years in Bologna – for his chapel in the Basilica of San Petronio. The Polyptych marked the beginning of his collaboration with the younger Ercole de’ Roberti, thus giving life to one of the most formidable artistic associations of the second half of the Italian fifteenth century. The woodcarver Agostino de Marchi da Crema worked together with the two artists, who created the frame, which has unfortunately been lost today. The work was dismembered in 1725 by the will of the new owner of the chapel, Monsignor Pompeo Aldrovandi, who reduced the painted panels to room pictures. The panels then landed on the antiques market, finally reaching the nine international museums that today are the owners.

The exhibition reconnects the threads of this extraordinary story, illuminating with a new light not only the history of art in Bologna but also the history of its city.

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On the second floor of Palazzo Fava, on the other hand, visitors can get a close look at the work of the Factum Foundation which, since 2012, through new digital display technologies, has re-materialized the most important works of art of the past, including the Griffoni Polyptych. An opportunity for the public to understand and closely investigate the work of protecting and sharing heritage from the re-materialization of the work on display to the reconstruction of lost works and documents.

It is also possible to see for the first time the digital scan of the famous Lamentation over the Dead Christ by Niccolò dell’Arca, preserved in the church of Santa Maria della Vita: a unique example of Renaissance terracotta statuary.

Your safety is our priority.

We have compiled a list of simple rules that will allow you to enjoy the beauty of the exhibition The Rediscovery of a Masterpiece in total tranquillity, moving comfortably around Palazzo Fava.

Please CLICK HERE to see our safety guidelines and read all the precautionary measures adopted by Genus Bononiae. Musei della Città in compliance with the Decree of the Italian Prime Minister of January 14th, 2021.


Special thanks to
Main sponsor: Rekeep, Intesa Sanpaolo
Special partner: Termal
Sponsor: IMA, Polfil , L’Angelica, Hera, AON, Confindustria Emilia Centro
Sponsor Tecnico: Galleria Cavour, Cotabo

Opening Hours

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: 8.00 am - 9.30 pm


Palazzo Fava

via Manzoni 2, Bologna

Admission tickets

Open 18

Full price 15

Reduced price (1) 12

– Over 75 completed (presenting document);
– Journalists with a regular National Order card (professionals, practitioners, publicists)
– Visitors with disabilities;
– Affiliated companies (TPer)
– Police
– Exhibition “Monet e gli Impressionisti” ticket holder

Reduced price (2) 11

– Groups (reservations required min 10 max 20 people)
– Children from 11 to 18 years old;
– University students up to 26 years old with a badge;
– “Friends of the Cineteca” with their membership card;

Reduced price (3) 10

– Groups with Genus Bononiae guide (reservations required min 10 max 20 visitors);
– Children from 6 to 11 years old;
– Ticket from another Genus Bononiae location;
– Culture Card;
– Bologna Welcome Card;

Free admission

– Children up to 5 years; – Group escorts (1 each group);
– Visiting teachers with pupils / students (2 each group);
– One companion for visitors with disabilities;
– Invitation coupon holders;
– Genus Bononiae Membership Card holders;
– Guides with badge;
– Journalists with a regular National Order card (request for accreditation by the editorial staff at the address

Booking and presale rights

– Group and individual rates, including Open ticket: € 1.80 per person
– Reduced rate for schools: € 1.00 per student

Radio guides for Compulsory Groups 30

Educational Services

  • At the moment there are no educational proposals of this kind