MuseoDivino, Dante’s micro sculptures at the Certosa in Florence

NoonNovember 14, 2022 – 4:09 pm

The Neapolitan museum presents the Same collection with the art historian Marco Collareta and the Italianist Carlo Ossola, an event sponsored by the Florentine Municipality

from Mon. Mar.

The Divine Museum of Naples presents Wednesday at the Certosa di Firenze (at 5 pm) the tiny works of art on the Divine Comedy and the Nativity by Antonio Maria Esposito and volumes published by Leo S. Olschki dedicated to them, with the curators Silvia Corsi and La Vagner, the photographer Giorgio Cossu, the art historian Marco Collareta and the Italianist Carlo Ossola. The event is sponsored by the Municipality of Florence.

Dante in a nutshell

An encounter dedicated to art that generates tenderness and amazement, between human creation and divine creation, where the vast Dantesque cosmos and the immense love of Christmas are enclosed in a walnut shella cherry stone, a hemp seed. At the Certosa del Galluzzo the preview exhibition outside the borders of Campania of the tiny miniature works by Antonio Maria Esposito, dedicated to the theme of the Nativity and the Divine Comedy and the presentation of the two volumes that the Olschki publishing house has dedicated to this admirable example of spiritual art. The public are accompanied by scholars and critics who have participated in the discovery of these “micro-wonders” such as the art historian Marco Collareta and the Italianist Carlo Ossola.

Sculptures from Guinness

Droplets of oil painting, grains of pear pulp, fragments of moss, are the simple materials from which, in the silence of his study and far from the gaze of the world, the Stabiese priest Antonio Maria Esposito created in the second half of the 20th century, as an exercise in patience and prayer, a whole cosmos of evangelical and Dante characters that crowd vast landscapes, incredibly placed inside shells and seeds: equipped with a magnifying glass, you can discover millimeter and dynamic sculptures of shepherds running towards the hut of Bambin Ges or threadlike souls, damned and almost transmuted into snakes, or safe and willing ascending on the mountain of Purgatory, on the ridge of a shell of walnut.

The Nativity

The joyful and luminous Nativities of “Don Antonio”, as the few friends he was called to show them to when he was alive, were chosen in 2020 as an iconographic complement to the successful critical re-edition of the Christmas novenas of Sant’Alfonso Maria de ‘Liguori – this figure of wide-ranging and high theological and cultural profile, who at the same time knew how to “make himself small”, adapting his perfect rhetoric to the humble register of the people – think of his simple song “Tu scendi dalle stelle”, which still accompanies today our Christmas.


Miniatures and spirituality

The second volume that is presented at the Certosa, entirely made with the contribution of the committee for Dante’s celebrations of 2021, instead guides the reader in the amazing Divine Comedy that Esposito created in 42 walnut shells, where Dor’s illustration seems to meet the twentieth century by Giacometti in a lively and creative confrontation with Dante’s poetry and with the artists inspired by it. The peculiarities of this work summarized in the subtitle “miniature, sculpture and spirituality” are also explored in relation to the Comedy itself in the rich critical apparatus that ranges from medieval miniaturists to the first romantics, from August Rodin to Virginia Woolf, in search of the unique gaze that each reader impresses on the pages of his “own” Dante.



Each visitor will be equipped with a magnifying glass and a torch to admire six of the crib works and six of the Dante’s walnuts by Antonio Maria Esposito including the tiny nativity in hemp seed of 3 millimeters and the only work dedicated by the artist in Paradise.

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November 14, 2022 | 16:09


MuseoDivino, Dante’s micro sculptures at the Certosa in Florence