Yesterday (11 March 2015) saw the opening of a new exhibition of ex-votos curated by the Fondazione Per Grazie Ricevute at the Palazzo Giureconsulti in Milan, entitled Give us today our daily bread: The Earth, the Harvest and Food from Antiquity to the Present.
The exhibition centres on the age-old themes of food, the earth and the harvest – themes which will be explored and celebrated all across the city of Milan this year as part of the 2015 Expo. It comprises 32 ex-votos dating from between 1700 and 1900, originally dedicated in churches all over Italy.
The Fondazione P.G.R. explains how ‘these votive tablets recount a fascinating, enchanting story about the eternal gratitude of mankind for the harvest – which has consistently been understood as a sign of life, a source of food and rebirth, symbol of abundance and means of exchange. The ex-votos are documents which bear witness to other historical eras, situations and ways of life…. Food is central to many these votive tavolette, whether this means a harvest being saved from hailstorms and fires, or a cow emerging unharmed from a stable in flames.’
‘The exhibition will immerse the visitor in colour, imagery and culture. It includes some rare tavolette including one example showing a little girl running away from four angry geese after having stolen an egg from one of them, and another scene offered by a country worker who was saved after an apple fell on his head.’
‘Give us today our daily bread’ runs from 11 March to 2 April 2015 at the Palazzo Giureconsulti – Camera dei Notari in Milan. Entry free. Open Monday to Friday from 10am to 6pm.