GIULIO FERRARIO: IL COSTUME ANTICO E MODERNO DI TUTTI I POPOLI

Curated by Francesco Braschi and Pierfrancesco Fumagalli

February 13 – May 14 2017

Pinacoteca Ambrosiana displaycases rooms 2 and 3

Giulio Ferrario, IL COSTUME ANTICO E MODERNO DI TUTTI I POPOLI
Asia. Volume II, Milano, 1819 – INDIA WITHIN THE COURSE OF THE GANGES, Feast of the temples’ consecration, p. 164

Giulio Ferrario (1767-1847), Milanese scholar and man of letters, was an active protagonist of the Italian cultural life before and during the Risorgimento. After completing his studies in civil and canon law, he entered the secular clergy and devoted himself to literature and to studying the ancient Greek and Roman cultures. In 1802 he was hired by the Brera Library, of which he became director in 1834. Among his works as publisher it is worth mentioning the initiative of the Società tipografica dei classici italiani and other high-culture publications. He also published works on engravings, theater and architecture and collaborated for the costumes of the Teatro alla Scala. His brother Vincenzo (1768-1844) who, besides being engaged in political life, was equally ivolved in publishing companies both in the Napoleonic era and during the Habsburg restoration, supported him.

In the years 1817-1834 he published with varying success the monumental Costume antico e moderno. Storia del governo, della milizia, della religione, delle arti, scienze ed usanze di tutti i popoli antichi e moderni provata con monumenti dell’antichità e rappresentata con gli analoghi disegni (Ancient and modern costume. The history of government, the militia, religion, arts, sciences and customs of all ancient and modern peoples, proven with ancient monuments and represented with the corresponding drawings). The work was released in Milan, in booklets, and then published in 21 volumes.

Thanks to this editorial operation, Ferrario can be considered an innovator scholar, heir to the humanistic and Renaissance tradition, and at the same time attentive to similar initiatives that were springing up in Europe, thus standing as a forerunner in the divulgation of works of geography, ethnography and general culture, such as those published today by National Geographic. The success of the Costume antico e moderno was due to a timely combination of nineteenth-century encyclopaedism with the new educational and entertainment demands of the cultivated society of the time, imbued with the taste for exoticism and orientalism that was spreading more and more.

Pinacoteca Ambrosiana
Displaycases rooms 2 and 3
February 13 -  May 14 2017
Admission included in the museum’s ticket