New Jerusalem

Works by Susan Kanaga and Filippo Rossi


November 8, 2018 – January 6, 2019


Florence: Basilica of San Miniato al Monte

Florence: Church of Orsanmichele; 

Barga: Villa Via Sacra (Ecumenical Centre for Art and Spirituality ‘Mount Tabor’)



The exhibition New Jerusalem, born in the context of the international conference Florence and the Idea of Jerusalem, is articulated in three thematic sections: at San Miniato, The Temple on the Mount; at Orsanmichele The Holy City; at  Barga, The Mystical Garden. At the heart of the biblical Jerusalem is the temple, whose hill, Sion, becomes the city’s second name. The city moreover lives its relationship to the temple with positive tension, knowing itself called to sanctity. And in the middle of the city are “trees of life”, the leaves of which offer a “cure for the nations” (Rev 22, 2). These are the three sections of the one exhibit New Jerusalem: The Temple, The City, The Garden.


Working in an abstract idiom, Susan Kanaga and Filippo Rossi exalt gold and color, taking inspiration from the description of the heavenly Jerusalem in the book of Revelation, which says that “the foundations of the city wall were faced with all kinds of precious stone” (Rev 21, 18-20). These 21st-century artists reactivate the symbolic aesthetic of earlier Christian tradition, inviting viewers to rediscover the potential of matter to transmit a spiritual message.  


The exhibition was realized in the context of the Millennial celebrations for San Miniato al Monte (1018-2018), with the collaboration of: the Archdiocese of Florence, the Community of San Minato al Monte, the Bargello National Museum, the Rectorate of San Carlo dei Lombardi,  the Ecumenical Centre for Art and spirituality ‘Mount Tabor’ (Barga), Magnifice, with the support of the foundation Fieldstead and Company (USA), of the Florence Cathedral Chapter, of the Central Italian Theology Faculty, of Ars et fides Firenze and of the Amici dei Musei (Firenze).   


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