< >

Opera Omnia

Nacional Center for the Arts / 2019

The National Center for the Arts (Cenart, in Spanish), in cooperation with the Rai (Radiotelevisione Italiana), presents the Opera Omnia exhibition. It consists of 60 digital reproductions of paintings and frescoes by three great Italian Renaissance artists: Giotto di Bondone (1267-1337), Piero della Francesca (1412-1492) and Sandro Botticelli (1446-1510).

This exhibition brings together masterpieces of the Italian cultural heritage found in different enclosures. Their value, both monetary and historical, makes it impossible to transfer them. Opera Omnia allows us to appreciate these pieces through high-resolution, real-size reprographies, in which it is even possible to perceive the smallest details, such as the effect of the passage of time seen on the originals, which is difficult to observe in museums.

The exhibition also seeks to disseminate the importance of these works. In the same vein, it invites us to reflect upon the Renaissance and its influence on the history of civilization and art. This movement, which emerged in Western Europe, dates approximately from the end of the thirteenth century to the sixteenth century, and it was characterized by a boom in humanistic culture, science and philosophy. As for art, the classical ideals predominated: the search for beauty, balance and harmony.

The three artists whose canvases are displayed in the Cenart are emblematic of this great cultural movement that marked the end of the Medieval era and the beginning of the Modern Age. Giotto is an example of this transition; his frescoes present a figurative language and an early approach to the notion of perspective, perfected by his successors. Piero della Francesca stands as the disseminator of classical values. In his paintings, he highlights deeply religious features that he consciously adapted to the old models, while Botticelli is a symbol of the fifteenth century Italian painting, showing a mastery of harmony and perspective, which he combined with religious and allegorical meanings, as well as with references to Greco-Roman mythology that have become a main feature of his legacy.

In 2015, for the first time in Mexico, Leonardo, Rafael, and Caravaggio: an impossible sample. Works of art in the era of digital reproduction, which was consolidated as one of the most emblematic and successful exhibitions that have taken place in the Cenart in recent years, was presented. Opera Omnia seeks to give continuity to this type of activities that bring the paintings of the great masters of the Renaissance to the public.

In this context, an extensive program with various parallel activities that will offer visitors opportunities to reflect on the different themes surrounding the cultural movement that emerged in Western Europe will be presented as well.

Works of art in the
era of digital reproduction II

Opera Omnia, which is an exhibition that brings together 60 high-resolution, original-size reproductions of some of the most important paintings of the Italian Renaissance, is an initiative in which digital technology acts as a powerful access tool to culture and art, making possible an approach to masterpieces that are sheltered in different parts of the world or that are impossible to transfer due to their high management cost, administration and conservation.

The reproduction of important paintings is not something new. After the invention of photography, at the beginning of the twentieth century, these reprographies were discussed as a practice that, since the beginning, influenced how art was made and seen. However, one of the limitations of the images that circulate daily is that their quality and size are insufficient so as to show the details and complexity of the originals. In this context, the Radiotelevisione Italiana (Rai) has a project through which it creates high-definition, real-size replicas, so that the public can appreciate them in a more complete and direct way.

In order to achieve these reproductions, different processes are combined, both analog and digital. In the first stage, the registration of each painting is carried out on a slide, through high-definition cameras. The image catalog focuses only on the work, leaving aside elements such as frames or, in the case of the frescoes, a portion of the walls; even the lighting is increased to differentiate the digital reprography from the original. The second stage consists of making a photographic reproduction that is made from the original slide. For this, a digital copy of the positive photograph is made, so that it can be manipulated from a computer in order to revise the color. Then, this digital copy is printed with the original measurements, using a large, high-resolution laser printer. In the last stage, the printed copy is pasted on a rigid, transparent surface, so as to project light from its back and generate the visual effect that is characteristic of these pieces.

To date, several reproductions, achieved through the Rai’s project, have toured cities in Italy, the United States and Mexico, as an initiative that seeks to democratize art and turn it into "a means of mass communication". In this sense, the idea of generating high-quality, digital works that are globally transferred aims to disseminate art’s knowledge and experience, making technology a common and essential resource for access to culture.

Giotto di Bondone

Colle di Vespignano (near Florence),
Italy, c. 1267 - Florencia, 1337


This artist, known simply as Giotto, created an original style that was characterized by the thorough examination of gestures and expressions of different emotions in his characters, giving them, in addition, volume in his paintings.

Between 1288 and 1292, he painted frescoes on the history of San Francisco in the Upper Basilica of Assisi and around 1320, he painted the Stefaneschi Triptych, which is currently preserved in the Vatican’s picture gallery. In 1328, he designed the belfry of the church of Santa María del Fiore (Florence Cathedral), which now bears his name.

His masterpiece, which is considered to be the highest point of the fourteenth century Italian art, is a cycle of frescoes that he painted between 1302 and 1305 for Enrico Scrovegni. In 1310, when Dante Alighieri mentions Giotto in “Canto XI” of The Divine Comedy, he undoubtedly referred to those paintings found in the Scrovegni Chapel, also known as the Arena Chapel, in Padua, Italy.


During the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, Giotto was an artist that developed a career of continuing success, witnessed and celebrated by many. At the end of the Middle Ages, the political and economic context of the Italian peninsula was unstable due to the fall of the Western Roman Empire (286 - 476); the vast majority of the regions were divided, and it took several centuries for Italy to have a single political and economic force again. The most stable area was Rome (in the center of the territory), where the religious power was represented by the Pope. That is why worship had a fundamental role in all areas. However, the peninsula was still influenced by Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire (330-1453), which made it very different from the rest of Europe.

In this context, from an early age, Giotto was characterized by a revolutionary and original pictorial language that recovered the styles and discoveries of his time to propose a new way of understanding painting, thus laying the foundations of the first stage of the Italian Renaissance. It is thought that one of his great influences was Gothic art, which gained strength from the twelfth century, mainly in Nordic countries and France. From Gothic art, this Florentine painter took up the use of emblems to identify different characters in sacred scenes, as well as the search to faithfully imitate nature and emotions. In this way, he breathed life into his works through Gothic sculptures’ figures.

But perhaps, the element that truly allowed him to completely revolutionize painting was the recovery of Hellenistic techniques and discoveries that were preserved in Byzantine art. For example, the search for a pictorial space in which the elements’ arrangement showed depth and volume in the figures, a technique that, in addition, contrasted strongly with the common images of the Middle Ages, which were characterized by bundling up bodies and different moments in the same painting. Hence, even if in Giotto’s works the pictorial space is not configured according to the scientific perspective of Filippo Brunelleschi (who was the hallmark of Renaissance paintings), it is evident that this Florentine artist recovered the art of creating the illusion of depth on a flat surface. For this reason, it is considered that he caused an accelerated transition between the art associated with the medieval period and the pictorial art of the Renaissance, which had its peak in Italy.

Piero della Francesca

Sansepolcro, in Tuscany, Italy, c. 1412 – Sansepolcro, 1492


When he achieved fame, Piero di Benedetto dei Franceschi or Piero della Francesca, worked for wealthy families like the Malatesta of Rimini and the Montefeltro of Urbino, as well as for the Pope, in Rome.

Between 1450 and 1451, during his stay in Rimini, he painted the portrait of Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta and the fresco of St. Sigismondo and Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta in the Tempio Malatestiano. The following year, the Bacci family hired him to paint the cycle of frescoes on The Legend of the True Cross in the Basilica of Saint Francis, in the region of Tuscany. In the 1460s, he made several paintings for Federico da Montefeltro, among which The triumph of the Duke of Urbino and Pala de Brera stand out. However, it is considered that his work reached its maximum splendor with the Madonna del Parto, de>emed as one of the most representative paintings of Renaissance art.

As he grew old, he focused on deepening into the mathematical and geometrical theory, and he wrote the following texts: De Prospectiva pingendi, Libellus de quinque corporibus regularibus and the Trattato dell’abaco, with the intention of applying mathematical theories to painting.


In the fifteenth century, Piero della Francesca combined the distinctive elements of Renaissance painting (perspective, symmetry and geometry) to achieve beauty and harmony in his paintings. For this reason, his work has become an important reference to understand Renaissance art. It is even considered that with his works, this cultural movement reached a process of synthesis and self-awareness in which theoretical reflection, especially the kind that was related to scientific thinking, became a fundamental part of the artistic practice, and it was put at the service of the representation of beauty.

This artist is considered one of the main mathematical painters, along with Leonardo Da Vinci, since many of his investigations were aimed at solving problems of this exact science that were related to the art he mastered. One of the most relevant characteristics of Renaissance art was mathematical perspective: a method discovered by Filippo Brunelleschi, who was a Florentine architect and sculptor. This method consisted in conducting a proper three-dimensional representation of images, which provided depth and volume to the paintings. This method provoked a deep reflection, both in art and science, about how the human eye perceives and reacts to the behavior of light and shapes.

Piero della Francesca’s interest for perspective was such that he ended up drafting his own mathematical treatises about this and other topics. De prospectiva pingendi, written around 1480, is also a declaration of principles on the scientific nature of painting, which particularly influenced the artists of that time.

Another aspect on which he focused was the relationship between the human body, nature and architecture. The composition of his works was concentrated on creating a geometric balance, in which the body of a virgin or a saint was shown in oversized dimensions in order to represent the temples’ structures, which was something innovative and revealing for his time.

Sandro Botticelli

Florencia, Italia, 1446 – Florencia, 1510


Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi, known as Sandro Botticelli, began his apprenticeship with the painter and friar Filippo Lippi. In 1472, he enrolled in the Compagnia di San Luca, a guild that brought together Florentine artists.

His clients were the great families of his hometown: the Soderini, the Pucci and the Vespucci, although he worked mainly for the Medici, who commissioned him to elaborate the works that are currently the best known of his legacy, such as El estandarte – currently lost-, Spring and The Birth of Venus, these last two are preserved in the Uffizi Gallery, in Florence, Italy.

In 1481, Pope Sixtus IV invited him to Rome to paint the following frescoes in the Sistine Chapel: The Temptations of Christ, The trials of Moses and the Punishment of the rebels, as well as 11 figures of other pontiffs in the upper band of the same oratory.

After 1487, Botticelli increased his religious fervor influenced by the Dominican monk Girolamo Savonarola, who was burned at the stake in 1498. This event accentuated the prophetic and apocalyptic tone in his paintings. Examples of paintings of this period are: Crucifixion and The Mystical Nativity. The latter being Boticelli’s only painting with date and signature.


The career of Sandro Botticelli was developed mainly in the second half of the fifteenth century, a period known as the Quattrocento, which is considered the most representative moment of the Italian Renaissance. During the Quattrocento, art was characterized by having its own aesthetic attributes, which were clearly distinct from those of the previous stage, such as the search for beauty, the use of perspective and the importance of the human body.

In particular, his works show a strong influence of his teacher Filippo Lippi, who, until his death (1469), generated a vast production and gathered Masaccio’s legacy (1401 - 1428), a painter who, despite his short career, managed to capture the Renaissance’s key elements; he was the first to use perspective and propose a balanced arrangement of bodies in the pictorial space, thus becoming a great inspiration for other artists of the same era.

Humanism was a school of thought that also had a strong influence on intellectuals and artists who, like Botticelli, were part of the most powerful families in Italy, such as the Medici. This ideology sought to recover the wisdom contained in myths and in the ancient philosophy of Greece and Rome, in which man was regarded as a reference to understand the universe, and beauty was understood in relation to truth and nature. In this context, in addition to the use of perspective and other Renaissance stylistic elements, Botticelli's creations are distinguished by recovering components of mythology and using them to make reference to moral issues. At that time, the representation of the human body became a central aspect of painting because it reflected the humanist idea that the image of man is the guideline and reference for beauty.

Thus, in his works, one can appreciate the importance of natural landscapes in contrast to a harmonious representation of moving bodies and clothes. However, unlike other artists of the same period who painted anatomically perfect human bodies, in Botticelli’s paintings, it is evident that the priority was to highlight symbolic attributes and create harmony in his compositions. The beauty of the human body was not in the resemblance to reality, but in the representation of the ideals of beauty and harmony, as well as in establishing a moral discourse through the symbols and allegories used in the image.


The Renaissance is a very broad historical epoch that encompasses several centuries, from the end of the 13th century, when the paradigms of the Middle Ages began to be broken, until the 16th century, when artists leaned towards a style known as Mannerism and a cultural transformation that is known as the Baroque period commenced.

This timeline is a tool to understand this broad and complex period. It focuses mainly on the years in which Giotto, Piero della Francesca and Botticelli lived and developed their careers, emphasizing the moments when they created some of their most renowned works. In addition, it shows some of the most representative historical events of the period between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries, both in Europe and America to give a general overview of the context in which the paintings exhibited were made.

time line


Opera Omnia. Works of art in the era of digital reproduction II is part of a project of the Rai (Italian Radiotelevision) that creates digital reproductions of the great works of the Italian Renaissance for large international exhibitions. The reprographies are obtained from a high-resolution photographic record of a wide variety of paintings that are then printed in their original size and transferred to the country or place in which they will be exhibited. This video allows us to approach the process of selection, recording and reproduction of the different works. It is narrated by people who have been involved since the beginning, thus it allows us to hear first-hand the motivations, the objectives and the difficulties that have arisen in the different stages of this great project.


A| B| C| D| F| G| H| J| L| M| O| P| Q| R| S| T|


  • Allegorical figure |

    the word “allegory” derives from the Latin word allegoria. It is the representation of an abstract idea based on figures, attributes and bodies. In art, it is used to personify and communicate vices, virtues and values through images that are easy to assimilate.
  • Ars Nova |

    This medieval musical form was used until the period between 1440 and 1450, and it had influence on later music. This kind of music was presented in large ceremonies, such as royal weddings, cathedral dedications, papal coronations or the signing of peace treaties. After 1450, the Ars Nova disappeared, but its characteristics were adopted by the cyclical masses.


  • Byzantine Art |

    Byzantine architecture was developed within the framework of the Byzantine Empire (395 AD-1453), and it was characterized by its wide vaults and by the design of large curved spaces under domes and long columns. The sacred images were represented by mosaics that were directly placed on the walls, with an evident symmetrical arrangement and great luminosity. The use of gold and golden color was predominant.


  • Christology |

    also called Christological cycle or liturgical year, is the period between Christmas and Easter. It lasts 33 weeks, and it focuses on the worship of the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It begins with Advent, announcing the arrival of Jesus, and ends with the feast of Pentecost, when, according to the Church, the history of humanity and the history of the souls saved by Christ begins.
  • Cinquecento |

    In English it means “five hundred”, and it is the subsequent period of the quattrocento, which was characterized by the inspiration in classical antiquity. In the sixteenth century, the influence of the Renaissance movement reached all of Europe, and the most important production center moved from Florence to Rome since the pontiffs were the great patrons of the artists of this period. This period was known as Early Renaissance.
  • Colle di Vespignano |

    small Italian town that is currently called Vicchio. It is located in the region of Tuscany. The painter Giotto di Bondone was born here.
  • Cyclic Mass |

    musical genre of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance that took part in the liturgy or mass. It is composed of five movements: Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus and Agnus Dei. The structure of the mass helps to understand that of the music of this time, since almost all the compositions that were written then were for sacred places. Some parts of these musical works were sung as plainchant and others were only recited or sung in a single note. It was later, well into the Renaissance, that polyphonies began to be used in religious music. In the early fifteenth century, composers were interested in achieving unity in the five movements, so they resorted to motives that were repeated in each movement.


  • Dante Alighieri (1265 - 1321) |

    he was a poet born in Florence, Italy. He married and procreated four children. For several years, he devoted himself to politics and became a member of the Special Council of the People and the Consell de Cent, which were two branches of the government. In addition, he was one of the judges in charge of electing the priors or consuls. In 1300, he was elected as one of the six most important magistrates in Florence. Shortly after, he was sent to Rome as an ambassador to propose a peace treaty. However, when he arrived in the Italian capital, he was imprisoned and sentenced to a two-year exile and to a large fine he could not pay, so he was exiled for life and sentenced to death if he returned to Florence. He died in the northern Italian town of Ravenna at age 56, shortly after finishing The Divine Comedy, which is considered his masterpiece.


  • Federico de Montefeltro (1422 - 1482) |

    Duke of the city of Urbino, a town he helped to excel, which gave him prestige during the Renaissance. His career as a mercenary began at age 16, working under the command of the King of Naples, Pope Pius III and the Medici family. As he grew old, he hired Piero della Francesca to make portraits of him and his wife, as well as paintings with ecclesiastical themes.
  • Filippo Brunelleschi (1377 - 1446) |

    Florentine architect, sculptor, painter and goldsmith. It is considered that he founded the Renaissance style alongside Leon Battista Alberti, Donatello and Masaccio, and that thanks to his deep mathematical knowledge, he was able to formulate the laws of perspective, which were a key point for Renaissance paintings. He is known for his work in the dome of the Cathedral of Florence.
  • Florence: |

    city located in the north of the central region of Italy. It was founded by Julio César in 59 B.C. During the Renaissance, it was the birthplace of artists such as Giotto, Botticelli and Michelangelo, which caused an artistic, literary and scientific wave that marked a watershed in the history of art.
  • Foreshortening |

    representation of the images that are located in a perpendicular or oblique direction to the plane of the canvas or paper used for paintings, in such a way that a three-dimensional effect on a flat surface is achieved.


  • Geometry |

    it is the study of the properties and magnitudes of figures in a plane or in space. In art, it is the implicit presence of geometric forms that provide a series of norms for composition, such as proportion, symmetry and perspective.
  • Goldsmithing |

    it is the art of carving objects of gold, silver and other precious metals, or of alloys of them. The artisans and artists who are dedicated to this profession are called goldsmiths.
  • Gothic Art |

    It is an architectural style that arose in the mid-twelfth century in France, England and Germany, and it was defined by the use of pointed arches, mainly in religious enclosures. Later, the term went on to define a whole historical period that encompasses up to the 15th century and that was characterized by a highly expressive pictorial and sculptural style, focused on providing a vivid experience of the sacred narratives and the church’s moral lessons.
  • Guillaume Dufay (1397 - 1474) |

    Renaissance musician and composer, originally from Brussels. From a young age he came to Italy to serve as a composer in the court of the Malatesta family, who ruled the cities of the coast of Italy. In 1427, he was ordained a priest by Cardinal Luis Aleman, and in 1428 he became a singer in the papal chapel of Martin V. In 1433, he was appointed choirmaster at the court of Savoy, where he produced his first profane late-style songs. He was a very important musician of his time, although by 1500 his works had been almost completely forgotten.


  • Humanism |

    intellectual movement that was developed during the fifteenth century. It was characterized by the revaluation of man’s dignity and the resurgence of classical antiquity. Not only were the humanist thinkers not limited to theology knowledge, but also they introduced the study of human sciences and, above all, classic languages such as Latin and Greek. In the wake of the invention of the printing press, the humanists’ writings reached many European territories. Erasmus of Rotterdam, Tomás Moro, Antonio de Nebrija and Juan Luis Vives are some of the representatives of this school.


  • Johannes Ciconia (c. 1370 – 1412) |

    Renaissance musician and composer. His full name was Magister Johannes Ciconia of Leodio. He was born in Belgium. In his youth, he moved to Italy, where he became a cantor of the Padua Cathedral. With him, a growing migration of musicians and composers to Italy began. It lasted almost two centuries. Ciconia mastered the two most important styles of the time, both the lyrical of the Middle Ages in France and the Italian music.


  • Lorenzo de Médici (1449-1492) | he was a Renaissance Florentine diplomat, banker, writer and poet who, thanks to his interest in the arts, became one of the greatest patrons of all time. He was known as Lorenzo the Magnificent, since he attracted the most prestigious painters and sculptors of the time. Also, he was interested in the restoration of old art pieces like those of Donatello. Sandro Botticelli, Miguel Ángel, Rafael Sanzio and Leonardo da Vinci are some of the artists who were at his command. This is one of the reasons why the Medici family’s art collection is one of the most valued in history. Also, among his great achievements, we can find the creation of the "garden of sculpture", for which he hired as teachers the most talented apprentices. He died on the day and year when Christopher Columbus discovered America.


  • Mandorla |

    word of Italian origin that means almond. It refers to the oval-shaped or almond-shaped frame or aureole in which the artists insert sacred characters, the most frequent being Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary. These frames were used recurrently in Romanesque and Gothic art.
  • Magnificat |

    it is a catholic chant that, according to the Gospel of St. Luke, the Virgin Mary addressed to the Lord when she visited her cousin Elizabeth. It is recited according to a melodic formula called “psalmodic tone.” In the fifteenth and sixteenth century, composers focused on this part of the liturgy and mostly wrote it as a plainchant (only the voice is used).
  • Médici Family |

    this lineage or caste played a fundamental role in the economic, political and cultural development of Florence during the Renaissance. Cosme de Medici, who is considered the founder of this dynasty, was dedicated to banking, which allowed him to obtain great political power. Most of the Medici were also inclined to patronage, and they sponsored painters such as Piero della Francesca, Donatello, Michelangelo, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci and Rafael. Among the most prominent members of this family are the popes Leo X, Clement VII and Leo XI, queens Catherine de Medici and Maria de Medici, as well as Lorenzo the Magnificent.
  • Medieval Art |

    The period known as the Middle Ages covers approximately from the fourth century until the beginning of the fifteenth century. The art that was produced then was characterized by having a religious language that indicated the power of the two great doctrines of that time: Christianity and Islam. From the sixth century, Islamic art developed in the Middle East, Africa and Spain. Later, in Central Europe, the Romanesque style flourished in architecture and art, while in the eastern Mediterranean area, the Byzantine art arose between the sixth and fifteenth centuries. On the other hand, in the Germanic regions, architecture and sculpture acquired great importance, which gave rise to the birth of the Gothic style between the thirteenth century and the fifteenth century.


  • Opera Omnia |

    it is an Italian phrase that in English means "complete works", and it is used to make reference to an artist's entire catalog or production. The exhibition presented in the Cenart alludes to the project that presents digitized pieces of Renaissance artists in an unusual way, in which, paintings that otherwise could only be seen separately, can coexist. This exhibition presents frescoes and altarpieces as a demonstration of the complete works of an artist, through which one can appreciate the different stages and styles of each painter. The exhibition is entitled Opera Omnia despite the fact that the total works of each artist is not presented.


  • Pala |

    word of Italian origin that describes any painting made on a board or, failing that, on a hard support. It is often used as a synonym for altarpiece.
  • Perspective |

    system of pictorial representation that reproduces the depth of space on a flat surface. In the Renaissance painting, a refined technique was developed. Its purpose was to recover the mathematical principles so as to represent, from the spectator’s point of view, an image in three dimensions, as well as spaces that showed proximity and distance to imitate reality.
  • Pictorial techniques |

    pictorial technique that is done on walls and ceilings, using water-dissolved colors that are applied on a plastered surface that is still fresh (hence its name).

    Lienzo: it is a cloth or surface that painters have used for more than half a millennium to express their works, and it is traditionally made of cotton, linen or hemp.

    Temple: it is the oldest pictorial technique known. It consists in dissolving natural pigments in water and in tempering or thickening them with eggs, casein, rubber or a glycerin solution so as to apply them on a surface previously coated with a layer of "dry" plaster.

    Oil painting: pictorial technique in which pigments are mixed with an oil-based binder, normally of plant origin. Oil paintings are normally made on a canvas or a board, but they can also be made on other kinds of supports, such as metal, stone or ivory.
  • Predella |

    it is the horizontal lower part of a bench or an altarpiece bench. In general, it is the platform on which an altar is based, hence the paintings or sculptures that are in the lower part of the altarpiece are known by the same name. They are often narrative scenes, for example, the life of Jesus or a saint in particular.


  • Quattrocento |

    in English, it means “four hundred” and it is the Italian Renaissance’s period that covers the fifteenth century (1400 - 1499). At this time the Middle Ages ended and the assessment of humanism began, resulting in the representation of the human figure as a theme, trying to imitate anatomy, depth, proportion and perspective. The city of Florence was placed as the highest artistic exponent in this period.


  • Renaissance |

    it designates a movement of cultural and artistic renovation that emerged in the fifteenth century in Italy and spread throughout Europe during the sixteenth century. The term refers to the rediscovery of Greco-Roman antiquity, which was taken as reference for the artistic and cultural development of that period. This recovery was due, in part, to the study of the archaeological remains of Roman culture that began in those years. On the other hand, this stage is considered the beginning of Modernity, since it was characterized by an accelerated development of urban centers, in which the great patrons who financed the artists of the time appeared. In art and philosophy, Renaissance and humanistic ideals are clearly manifested, as well as the need to recover the image of nature and beauty and the use of mathematical principles such as proportion, harmony, symmetry and mathematical perspective.
  • Reprography |

    reproduction of documents or images by various means, such as photography or microfilm.
  • Renaissance lyric |

    from the sixteenth century the poets used verses, stanzas and poetic subgenres such as song, epistle, ode and eclogue. It focused on the exaltation of courtly love, beauty, anthropocentrism, nature, mythology and the use of metrics.


  • Sacred Art |

    This is the name given to artistic productions whose purpose is to worship the sacred or the divine. Although these types of cultural manifestations can be found in various regions and periods, the best-known examples of sacred art were made during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance as part of the Catholic or Islam traditions, and they were made for religious enclosures, such as churches and mosques.
  • School of Vittorino da Feltre |

    it was the first school of music with a boarding school in Europe that welcomed the nobles and some people outside the court who showed skills, with the exception of women. It was located in Mantua, Italy, in 1424. This institution disseminated the idea that "modern" music should imitate the old, which had many implications for the music of later centuries.


  • The Divine Comedy |

    poem written by Dante Alighieri between 1304 and 1321. It is considered a masterpiece of universal literature. It is divided into 3 parts: Hell, Purgatory and Paradise. Each one of them has 33 chants. The whole poem is ordered according to the symbolism of number 3, like the Holy Trinity (God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit). Alighieri entitled his verses as “Comedy”, and it was the writer and humanist Giovanni Boccaccio who added the adjective “Divine.” Painters such as Botticelli, Gustave Doré, Domenico di Michelino and Salvador Dalí illustrated scenes from The Divine Comedy (title in English).
  • Trecento |

    Italian word that means “three hundred” in English and that corresponds to the fourteenth century period (1300 - 1399). It is used to designate the last stage of medieval art, when the first manifestations of the Renaissance are recorded thanks to the work of artists such as Giotto, Dante, Petrarca and Duccio. In fact, Giotto represents a pictorial renovation that became the basis of the Renaissance art of the Quattrocento.


Public activities that will take place between March and June, within the framework of the exhibition
Opera Omnia. Works of art in the era of digital reproduction II


Opera Omnia. A look at the Renaissance: readings and conversations

Through five sessions, a dialogue about the influence that the Renaissance had on the development of later eras will be proposed, since it is still considered a point of reference to understand the history of Western thought.

Each session will be guided by a specialist who will share his or her research on this period, in areas such as literature, philosophy or science, for example, as well as his or her vision about the new perspective that digital images bring in art and in the dissemination of culture.

The main objective of this forum is to promote an approach to the Renaissance that updates the discussions on this period, in such a way that it enriches the audience's experience and makes possible a contemporary look at the historical context in which the works that make up the exhibition presented in the Cenart galleries were made.


This activity seeks to create a space for reflection on the life and thought of Renaissance artists, as well as the context in which they evolved. The following selection of films and documentaries addresses the Renaissance from different perspectives, as well as its legacy and context.

The Decameron (1971)

Directed by: Pier Paolo Pasolini

Running time: 112 min

Acervo de la Biblioteca de las Artes(Collection of the Arts Library)

Film adaptation of some of the stories in Giovanni Boccaccio's book. It includes the story of a disciple of Giotto, who is entrusted with the task of making a fresco in a church. The work The last judgment is recreated in a dream that the painter had.
The Gospel according to St. Matthew (1964)

Directed by: Pier Paolo Pasolini

Running time: 131 min

Acervo de la Biblioteca de las Artes(Collection of the Arts Library)

It portrays the story of Jesus, from his birth to his resurrection. His life, passion and miracles converge in a work that takes as its starting point the Gospel of Saint Matthew. The costumes and settings are inspired by the Quattrocento paintings, particularly by Piero della Francesca’s frescoes that are located in the Basilica of Saint Francis, in Arezzo.
Summa pictorial. The Italian Renaissance (1999)


Running time: 60 min

Acervo de la Biblioteca de las Artes(Collection of the Arts Library)

In Italy’s cities and workshops, the foundations for modern painting were laid. Schools, painters and artworks emerged during the Quattrocento, which was an outstanding period for European art. This period took place in the 15th century. Likewise, a special treatment was given to the mural painting technique called fresco, as it is one of the most representative characteristics of the Italian art of that era.
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988)

Directed by: Terry Gilliam

Running time: 126 min

Acervo de la Biblioteca de las Artes(Collection of the Arts Library)

It is a story that narrates Karl Friedrich Hyeronimus’ exploits, a German officer who lived in the 18th century. It combines the real world with an imaginary one. It reviews, among other things, his adventures on the moon, in the underworld and his encounter with the gods Vulcano and Venus. The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli is recreated in one scene.
The English patient (1996)

Directed by: Anthony Minghella

Running time: 162 min

Acervo de la Biblioteca de las Artes(Collection of the Arts Library)

An unknown man suffers an accident in Africa and must remain in an abandoned monastery under the care of Hana, a Canadian nurse. Little by little, he tells her the story of his life. Hana visits the Basilica of St. Francis of Arezzo and her companion shows her The Legend of the True Cross frescoes, one of Piero della Francesca's most outstanding works.


From a general context about Renaissance painting in Italy, a guide will explain how Giotto, Piero della Francesca and Botticelli managed to develop theories about perspective, geometry and mythology, which were embodied in their works.

These visits, which will be in charge of the Coordination of Exhibitions, will be general. Also, the visits have an established schedule and a maximum duration of 90 minutes. For further information about guided tours for schools or groups with special needs, please write to the email address operaomnia@cenart.gob.mx


Music was a fundamental element for the Renaissance’s cultural development. During this time, the use of instruments such as the lute, the viola da gamba, the recorder, the harpsichord and the harp was an important part of musical creation. It still influences how contemporary music is understood and made. Reviving this ancient music allows us to recover a very valuable cultural heritage and share it with the public.

In this context, a concert series of ensembles and groups will be held, most of which were created by students from the National Conservatory of Music and the Higher School of Music of INBAL. These live presentations seek to show the public the context in which the works that make up Opera Omnia were made.

Perspectives of ancient music and the Renaissance

Within the framework of Opera Omnia and the Ancient Music Festival, which is carried out each year by the Cenart, three talks will be held. These talks will address the importance of ancient music in the current era, the dissemination and creation of new audiences interested in safeguarding ancient music and the training and specialization in this musical genre

Frequently asked questions

It is an exhibition presented by the National Center for the Arts (Cenart, in Spanish) in cooperation with the Rai (Radiotelevisione Italiana). It gathers 60 digital reproductions of paintings and frescoes by three great artists of the Italian Renaissance: Giotto di Bondone (1267-1337), Piero della Francesca (1412-1492) and Sandro Botticelli (1446-1510).

Each of the reproductions presented in this exhibition was made from a high-resolution photograph of the original work, which through an advanced technological process was printed on a canvas the size of the real painting. The same colors and tones that the original currently presents can be appreciated; even the imperfections caused by the passage of time can be seen.

The technique used in these reprographies makes it possible to observe a work of art as close as only high-profile critics or art experts can do it, creating the illusion of being in front of the original work.

The Radiotelevisione Italiana (Rai), through a project that seeks to bring Italy’s painting masterpieces to people all over the world, since the original paintings are found in different museums that are distant from each other, and because of their historical value, it is not possible to present them in any exhibition.

No, the Radiotelevisione Italiana owns all of them. Even their transfer is insured (like every other work of art), and they are packed in special boxes that protect the reprographies’ canvases and frames that are part of an exhibition.

Opera Omnia. Works of art in the era of digital reproduction II will be presented in the Cenart galleries until June 16th, 2019.

From Tuesday to Sunday, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The exhibition will remain closed on Mondays and holidays

Admission is free

In the Central Gallery (Galería Central, in Spanish), the Binary Art Gallery (Galería de Arte Binario, in Spanish) and the Alternative Space Gallery (Galería Espacio Alternativo).



See the following program

By metro, the nearest stations are General Anaya (line 2) and Ermita (line 12)

The National Center for the Arts is located at Avenue Río Churubusco 79, at the corner of Calzada de Tlalpan, Country Club neighborhood, municipality of Coyoacán, Z.C. 04220, Mexico City. (Free parking)


Entering the rooms with backpacks and/or large packages is prohibited

Taking photographs inside the galleries is forbidden

Eating and drinking is not allowed inside the galleries




Download the press release here

Exhibition brochure here


Contact us at:

Information telephone number: (55) 41 55 01 11

Avenue Río Churubusco 79, at the corner of Calzada de Tlalpan
Country Club neighborhood, near the Metro General Anaya
Z.C. 04220, municipality of Coyoacán, Mexico City




Alejandra Frausto Guerrero

Omar Monroy
Administration and Finance Unit

Natalia Toledo
Undersecretary of Cultural Diversity and Reading Promotion

Edgar San Juan
Undersecretary of Cultural Development

Antonio Martínez Velázquez
Social Communication Manager and Spokesman


Ángeles Castro Gurría
Deputy Director General

Alejandra Páramo Carranza
Assistant Director of Artistic and Cultural Activities

Irma Ortega Osnaya
Circulation and Audience Development Director

Adriana Casas Mandujano
Director of the Multimedia Center


Antonio Paolucci

Matteo Ive

Rai Com
Alessandro Ravani
Romina Ciaralli
Luigi Di Martino