Tonino Maurizi: a tribute to the Nativity. 110 paintings on display in Jerusalem.

The “A thousand times Christmas” exhibition will take place at the Custodial Curia at St. Savior’s Monastery in Jerusalem from December 7, 2017, to February 2, 2018.
110 paintings created by the artist Tonino Maurizo from the Marche region in Italy, will showcase the mystery of the Nativity. As a painter, sculptor, designer, and ebonist, Maurizi fuses the experience of Second Futurist Art in Macerata (Italy) by Ivo Pannagi, with his studies at Brera Academy. The result is a simple, geometrical style, blending both neoclassical forms and industrial design. Bright colors make his Nativities unique. Forms and ideas melt into bright colors to recreate the Nativity scene, reinterpreted and painted every year as a gift for friends. An intimate light seems to shine from each painting. The almost ubiquitous red chosen in every work seems to express the warmth of a light, which is the divine mystery of the birth of the Savior, Jesus Christ.
“Today we rediscover Maurizi’s deeply emotional gaze, fixed in these works with the most vibrant colors and symbols,” said Fr. Francesco Patton, the Custos of the Holy Land. “His sight is that of child who cannot help but be fascinated by Christmas and who contemplates the Holy Family and humanity united on this occasion” said Fr. Armando Pierucci.
The works of art of this atypical entrepreneur and esthete, have already been exhibited in Italy, Spain, China, the United Arab Emirates, Bangladesh and Lebanon. However, in Jerusalem the exhibition will take on unique significance, since it will be fulfilling a dream for the artist.
“The Terra Sancta Museum is pleased to host this temporary exhibition, because for 800 years, the Custody has preserved the tradition by practicing it in the current day and age, as is demonstrated by the beautiful Neapolitan creche that is permanently present in the same room” said Fr. Stephane Milovitch, Director of Cultural Affairs of the Custody. “Our heritage from the 20th and 21st centuries must be promoted with events such as this one in order to modernize and bring life to our new museum, because even art must keep up with the times.
The exhibition, curated by Stefano Papetti and Francesca Maurizi, was made possible by the support of the Consulate General of Italy in Jerusalem and of the Custody of the Holy Land. The importance of art, both sacred and secular, as an instrument of dialogue and peace is reinforced by the birth of the Savior and Prince of Peace [BEATRICE, I DIDN’T SEE THIS LAST SENTENCE IN THE ORIGINAL ITALIAN DOCUMENT BUT I LEFT IT IN).
“Through the artist’s gaze, we hope to take a thousand steps closer to the path to peace for this land and for the thousand places where where Christmas will be celebrated,” said the Consul General of Italy, Fabio Sokolowicz.
The official opening of the exhibition took place in December at the Custody’s Custodial Curia and the artist himself participated. “I still cannot believe I am in Jerusalem; it has always been my dream to bring my works here,” said Tonino Maurizi. “I began to paint the Nativity and to give it as a greeting card for friends and customers of my shop,” said the artist. “I painted it everywhere: in boats, under mountains, outdoors, in town squares. Enthusiasm grew inside of me every year. After 15 years, I now send out about 3,600 per year.

During the exhibition opening, Fr. Stèphane Milovitch, the director of Cultural Heritage of the Custody, and Fr. David Grenier, the Secretary of the Holy Land, spoke, representing the Custos, and the curators of the exhibition.
“Tonino Maurizi's pencil has drawn that Child, the mystery of that birth, the joy and the strength of that family, a thousand times,” said curator Francesca Maurizi . “Simple but decisive lines; brush strokes that create intense and dynamic strips of color, so as to immerse that birth in every place, in every time, in every space of memory.”

Corrado Scardigno - Terra Sancta Museum
Beatrice Guarrera - Custody of the Holy Land