Artibus et Historiae no. 80 (XL)2019, ISSN 0391-9064
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RAFFAELLA FONTANAROSSA - The Story of Margherita. The Birth of a Modern Museological Icon (pp. 303–317)
The arrangement of the surviving marble pieces of one of the most famous medieval monuments, the tomb of Margaret of Brabant by Giovanni Pisano, has always been a test-bed for directors of public museums in Genoa. Starting with their first display in 1892, the sculptures were normally presented fixed to a shelf running along the wall, and this was repeated in all subsequent arrangements. After the Second World War, however, when Palazzo Bianco was reopened in 1950, visitors found themselves facing a totally new device: Margaret was placed at the centre of the room, mounted on a mobile support, which allowed an all-round view of the masterpiece. The novel mise-en-scène, designed by Franco Albini and Caterina Marcenaro, was celebrated all over the world and soon became the icon of the golden era of Italian museology, which coincided with the reconstruction phase. Using literature and visual sources, the essay retraces its critical fortunes.