Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Lorenzo Valla, a thorough and intrepid researcher for L'Osservatore Romano has blown the lid off  Currado Malaspina's recent exhibition, Palimpsest. Although he viewed the show rather favorably, he noted that much of the work bore a striking resemblance to documents and manuscripts from the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana.

One example comes from what scholars call the "Thomas Moore Talmud."

Palimpsest #988, Currado Malaspina

Take a look above at Palimpsest # 988. Small script obscuring floating figures is a pictoral strategy used to great effect in Currado's work. Dating back to his famous early series "The Secret Growth of Doves," Malaspina has incorporated texts of dubious provenance in much of his works-on-paper. The introduction of conspicuously unobstructed nudes is something new that begins to appear in the Palimpsest pieces.

Valla's discovery is the previously unknown Tractate X. This incredibly beautiful 17th century fragment from the Thomas Moore Talmud is so similar to Malaspina in style as well as substance, it is hard not to conclude that he savagely appropriated a pre-existing image. Surely he hoped - unjustifiably it turns out - that no one would notice.

Grazie Lorenzo!!

Tractate X from the Thomas Moore Talmud, 1679

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