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Tag: famousexpats

ART + CULTURE

Felix Le Monnier

The court case lasted almost 20 years and created a sensation at the time because it involved one of Italy’s most beloved authors and a prestigious French publisher, who had ...

ART + CULTURE

Edgar Degas and his Italian family

One of the earliest masterpieces by the 19th-century French impressionist artist and collector Hilaire-Germain-Edgar De Gas, who later adopted the simplified version of his name, Edgar Degas (1834–1917), hangs in ...

ART + CULTURE

Howard Pyle

Recognised as the father of American illustration, Howard Pyle forever changed the way we think of our heroes through his vivid, often dramatic black-and-white and colour drawings and paintings, in ...

ART + CULTURE

Andrei Tarkovsky

At number 91 via San Niccolò in the elegant, almost secretive Florentine neighbourhood of the same name, there is a plaque in Italian dedicated to one of the world’s greatest ...

ART + CULTURE

Aby Warburg

The Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Warburg, a centre for cultural studies now housed at the Warburg Institute in London, is one of the most extraordinary libraries in the world. There is no ...

ART + CULTURE

James Lorimer and Josephine Graham

Every year, on December 8, a holiday for the feast day of the Immaculate Conception, celebrations in piazza Duomo officially begin the festive season in Florence. The mayor, Dario Nardella, ...

ART + CULTURE

Frederick Hartt

Eminent Italian Renaissance scholar, author and professor of art history Frederick Hartt visited Florence many times during his life, but on two particular occasions he came to help the city ...

ART + CULTURE

Alfred Guillaume Gabriel d’Orsay

Foppish dandy Eustace Tilley, with his exaggerated top hat, morning coat and high-collared shirt who scrutinises a pretty butterfly through his monocle, has been the mascot of The New Yorker ...

ART + CULTURE

Rose Elizabeth Cleveland

In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Bagni di Lucca, a spa town not far from Lucca, was much loved by foreigners, some of whom were passing through, while others settled there permanently. The English Cemetery there holds the remains of many interesting and illustrious expats. If you go, look

Lifestyle

Johann Joachim Winckelmann

For German art historian and archaeologist Johann Joachim Winckelmann, the Italian dream did not end in the way it should have. On June 8, 1768, while returning to Rome from a trip to Munich and Vienna, where the Empress Maria Theresa had honoured him, the 48-year-old stopped at

ART + CULTURE

Benjamin Ingham

ph. Davide d’Amico Long considered by many consumers as, at best, cooking wine or grandma’s secret tipple, Marsala, the famous Sicilian fortified wine, is finally undergoing a ‘renaissance.’ Perfect for ...

ART + CULTURE

Maria (Maja) Einstein

The famous German scientist and father of the theory of relativity, Albert Einstein, was two years older than his only sibling, his sister, Maria. Known to family and friends as Maja, she not only physically resembled him but as children they were best friends. They would always remain close—

ART + CULTURE

Nicholas Steno

Visitors of all ages, from all over the world, make their way to the basilica of San Lorenzo, heading for the chapel in the right transept. It contains the late-Roman sarcophagus of Danish doctor, anatomist, geologist, naturalist and bishop Nicholas Steno (in Danish, Niels Stensen), beatified by Pope John

ART + CULTURE

Queen Helen of Romania

In 1933, Villa Sparta, situated on the hillside leading up to Fiesole, just behind the San Domenico convent, became home to a royal refugee: exiled Queen Helen of Romania. She soon set to work lavishly embellishing the rooms of the fifteenth-century villa, and, in 1935, employed British garden designer

ART + CULTURE

Lord Henry Somerset

Over the centuries, Florence has been the home to many wealthy and illustrious expatriates. But it has also been the home to some disputable foreign rogues and fugitives from the law. Between 1879 and 1932, one such ‘wanted’ man sought refuge there. His name was Lord Henry Somerset,

ART + CULTURE

John Pope-Hennessy

A plaque affixed to the wall outside via dei Bardi 28 simply states that there, ‘in palazzo Canigiani, the English art historian and honorary citizen of Florence, Sir John Pope-Hennessy (1913–94), lived and died.’  There is so much more to his story than that

ART + CULTURE

Mathilde Bonaparte

By the time Jerome Bonaparte (1784–1860), the youngest brother of Napoleon Bonaparte, took up residence in Florence in 1831, first at Palazzo Serristori and then at the sumptuous Palazzo Orlandini del Beccuto, he had long since divorced his American wife, Elizabeth ‘Betsy’ Patterson, and sent her

ART + CULTURE

Jeffrey Smart

On June 26, 2013, the funeral of Australian artist Jeffrey Smart was held at the Pieve of San Pietro Apostolo in Pieve a Presciano, not far from the home near Arezzo where the painter and his companion, Hermes De Zan, had lived for almost 50 years. Describing the funeral, a

ART + CULTURE

Alice Keppel

The epitaph on her tombstone at the Cimitero degli Allori (Evangelical Cemetery of Laurels), just outside Florence, tells us ‘she was gay, unselfish, brave,’ but Alice Frederica Keppel had one other invaluable quality: she was discrete. This was to make her the last and longest-serving mistress of

ART + CULTURE

A royal revenge?

If, like me, you are a fan of the British costume drama series Downton Abbey, you were probably pleased to read in the newspapers recently that the show has generated enough money to pay the 11.75 million pounds so desperately needed for the repairs at Highclere Castle in Berkshire,

ART + CULTURE

Gore Vidal

A large whitewashed villa named La Rondinaia (‘Swallow's Nest'), wedged on a sheer cliff face in Ravello, overlooking the Amalfi coast, was the place where prolific American novelist, playwright, essayist and pundit Gore Vidal, lived and worked for more than 35 years. From this lofty perch high above

ART + CULTURE

Mabel Dodge

American writer and patron of the arts Mabel Dodge (also known, in recognition of her four husbands, as Mabel Evans Dodge Sterne Luhan), was born Mabel Ganson on February 26, 1879. She was the only child and heiress of a wealthy but unloving family in Buffalo, New York. After a

ART + CULTURE

Joseph Pennell and Elizabeth Robins Pennell

There is a charming drawing, Leaving Montepulciano, in the current exhibition, Americans in Florence: Sargent and the American Impressionists, at Palazzo Strozzi (see TF 159). One of the eight works in the show by American printmaker, illustrator and writer Joseph Pennell, it depicts the artist and his wife, writer Elizabeth

ART + CULTURE

Henry James

The portrait of American author Henry James is amongst the paintings by John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) currently at Palazzo Strozzi in the exhibition Americans in Florence: Sargent and the American Impressionists (see TF 159). James was a close friend of Sargent and instrumental in promoting the artist's career

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