12 December 2017

“A thousand times Christmas”, the nativities of Tonino Maurizi in Jerusalem

The exhibition of the painter from “Le Marche” region, inaugurated on December 7 in the Curia halls of the Custody of the Holy Land, which will be open until February 2, was an opportunity for people to identify with the arrival of Christmas.

Archaeology, Culture, and other Religions

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As a boy, they called him the soldier painter ...
It was the 60s and Tonino Maurizi, artist from the Marche [Italy] was in Sicily to serve in the military. Born in 1940, born of a family of carpenters, he had been painting since he was 15 years old. In 1963, however, he began a tradition that would be a turning point in his career and in his life, that of the nativity greeting cards, initially intended for family members and close friends.

"I started painting nativity [cards], which I believe are important in the life of all Catholics, but also essential for the rest of the world ".

That tradition never stopped. Maurizi had sent 3600 postcards, reproductions of his paintings, every year for 15 consecutive years.
His works have been around the world, and they finally arrived in Jerusalem, thanks to his meeting with Brother Armando Pierucci, founder of the Magnificat Institute of the Custody of the Holy Land, and currently residing in Italy.

Head of the Cultural Heritage Department - Custody of the Holy Land
"They reside in Le Marche, in a town near the place where Father Armando currently lives. He then made a trade union between the musical art and the pictorial art. We are happy today not only to be able to exhibit our works for the world - this year the Terra Sancta Museum has 8 exhibitions for the world - but also to be able to accommodate the works of others who can make good use of our spaces ."

"Two years, three years later, my dream came true and is becoming a reality: I am excited! "

The exhibition entitled "A thousand times Christmas" and hosted in the Custodial Curia from December 7 to February 2, showcases 110 works, realized over the years. It follows a thematic and non-chronological path, as pointed out by the curator, Professor Stefano Papetti .

"It is not easy to prepare for Christmas in Jerusalem", stressed Br. David Grenier, secretary of the Custody of the Holy Land in his inaugural greeting. "Maurizi's works therefore help people identify themselves with that special place that words sometimes can not evoke".

"His vibrant colors, the simple and decisive traits, always performed with a spatula, never with a brush", says his daughter Francesca, "suggest that that little boy can change, if not save the whole world".

"The life of a child, like Jesus, gave openness and joy to so many.
I think it is essential to send this message, because the nativity can originate in a boat, by a mountain, outdoors, in a town square, everywhere. "