ART + CULTURE

Art and culture from Florence, Italy, focusing on exhibitions, museums, artisans and more.

ART + CULTURE

Pietro Annigoni

‘Impulse alone does not make a work of art.’ These are the words of one of Italy’s most internationally renowned twentieth-century artists. Despite receiving many accolades from the international art ...

ART + CULTURE

Art, genius, madness

Where is the line between genius and madness? How does madness influence art? How has the relationship between art and madness changed throughout the centuries? These are the questions visitors are asked to consider at an exhibit in Siena's Santa Maria della Scala Museum: Genio e Follia: Il giorno

ART + CULTURE

A cautionary tale

Be good. Mind your parents. Appreciate the paradise that your home is. Or else you'll end up like the miserable souls in the netherworld. With Dante's Inferno as her guide, Virginia Jewiss has written a cautionary tale for children.   Although there's no missing the message of

ART + CULTURE

Creepy-and true

I remember my first Italian boyfriend, who suggested taking his car and ‘going parking' one evening.   I felt like I had suddenly been plunged into an episode of ‘Happy Days' with Ralph Malph trying oh-so-subtly to put his arm around a girl at the drive-

ART + CULTURE

Arturo Toscanini

The twentieth century's great conductor, Arturo Toscanini, was born in Parma on March 25, 1867, the son of a music-loving tailor who spent much of his time fighting in Giuseppe Garibaldi's republican forces. Blessed with a prodigious memory-which would later enable him to remember the entire

ART + CULTURE

Giuseppe Borsalino

  What could men like Al Capone, Winston Churchill, Harry Truman, Charlie Chaplin, Fred Astair, Humphrey Bogart, Ernest Hemingway, Frank Sinatra, Pope John XXIII and Robert Redford possibly have in ...

ART + CULTURE

Nilde Iotti

In its short history, the Republic of Italy has only once almost had a woman prime minister. That woman was Leonilde Iotti, or Nilde, as everyone called her, who, in ...

ART + CULTURE

Photography by Amalie R Rothschild: Eyewitness to the 60’s Rock Revolution

Tina Turner and Janis Joplin performing together at Madison Square Garden: the image is forever captured, thanks to photographer Amalie R. Rothschild.   From 1968-1971, while a graduate student at New York University, Rothschild, worked as a freelance photographer and became known as the unofficial house photographer at the

ART + CULTURE

The Sermon of Saint John the Baptist returns to life

What do a 33,600 euro bottle of wine and a restored bronze pharisee have in common? The answer is Friends of Florence. When Friends member Michael Corliss paid an astronomical sum for a nine-liter bottle of Ornellaia at a Christie's auction in November 2007, he knew his

ART + CULTURE

Junio Valerio Borghese

Where do you go if your attempt to overthrow the legitimate government in Italy fails? To have a plate of spaghetti, where else? This is exactly what happened when the coup d'etat planned by Junio Valerio Borghese, the heroic World War II naval commander and post-war, right-wing

ART + CULTURE

When you wish upon a translation

The family that brought about Pincocchio Park has given the world a refreshing new translation of Collodi's classic cautionary tale for children. Gloria Italiano, widow of Rolando Anzilotti, the mayor of Pescia responsible for creating the park, worked from the 1883 first edition, which is included in this dual-

ART + CULTURE

The world beyond the Medici court

As many friends and patrons of the Medici Archive Project already know, the Mediceo del Principato archival corpus is composed mostly of correspondence directed to and originating from the grand dukes and duchesses, princes and princesses, secretaries and ministers, agents and ambassadors in Italy and abroad, and letters primarily dealing

ART + CULTURE

Filippo Tommaso Marinetti

Italians and pasta are like a horse and carriage: they just naturally go together. The very idea of depriving Italians of their beloved pasta seems crazy, but Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, the poet, novelist, critic and founder of Italy's Futurist movement, tried to do just that, although, as grocery stores

ART + CULTURE

Gianni Versace

In 1992, Gianni Versace, the eclectic Italian fashion designer, purchased Casa Casuarina in South Beach, Miami, for $2.9 million. Constructed in 1930 and modelled after a residence built in Santo Domingo in 1510 by the son of Christopher Columbus, restoration of the house became Versace's obsession. Five years

ART + CULTURE

Around the David

The year 2004 marked the 500th anniversary of the year in which Michelangelo's David was completed and placed in the Piazza della Signoria. To honor the occasion, the Accademia Gallery, current home of the masterpiece, organized a program of conferences and events, including exhibits, publications and restored works of

ART + CULTURE

Giving like a Medici

The Medici sent gifts to friends, agents, diplomats and rulers all over Europe, and the objects they sent were highly coveted. Sometimes too highly coveted. In a letter thanking his Medici employers for gifts to his wife, an Italian engineer temporarily working at the German court writes: My wife thanks

ART + CULTURE

Tu scendi dalle stelle (‘You come down from the stars’)

Children learn to sing it in grade school, at Christmas, the stores pipe it through their music systems and just about every Italian can hum the tune and even knows ...

ART + CULTURE

Rediscovering Artemisia

  Passion, intrigue, drama, torture and art. The life of Artemisia Gentileschi-one of the world’s greatest Baroque artists-has all the chiaroscuro trappings of a romance novel.   Her father, Orazio ...

ART + CULTURE

Roberto Calvi

On June 17, 1982, with his pockets filled with building bricks, $15,000 in three different currencies and a false passport, Roberto Calvi was found hanging from scaffolding under Blackfriars Bridge ...

ART + CULTURE

Have breasts, will travel.

There were the Grand Duke and Duchess with all their children, the youngest at his wet nurse's breast, happily suckling away.   A courtier, describing a ballet held at the Medici court to the Duchess of Mantua.  February 12, 1619   When Cosimo II and Maria Magdalena went

ART + CULTURE

Bruno Cavalieri Ducati

Hard work and ingeniousness may be one of the recipes for a long life. It certainly was for Bruno Cavalieri Ducati, the last of the three brothers who founded the famous motorcycle manufacturing company bearing their name. He died at 96 on May 14, 2001.   Adriano Ducati, Bruno's

ART + CULTURE

Florentine football under siege

In the very last day of the year 1544, Bernardo de' Medici, Medicean ambassador to France, wrote a letter to Duke Cosimo I de' Medici about a very special football match played at the French court in Fontainebleau: Yesterday, the most illustrious Dauphin, with thirty Frenchmen played football match against

ART + CULTURE

Enzo Tortora

Most people remember vividly where they were when some momentous event occurred, such as the day John Kennedy was assassinated or when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. Like them, ...

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