Entries Tagged as 'Other'

Vittorio Cini e il collezionismo d’arte antica


CONFERENCE: Lo specchio del gusto. Vittorio Cini e il collezionismo d’arte antica nel Novecento, Giornata di studio, Fototeca della Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venezia, 14 Novembre 2017.

«La collezione Cini è la più importante collezione fatta in Italia negli ultimi cinquant’anni. […]». Così esordiva il grande storico dell’arte Federico Zeri – già consulente del conte Cini – nel 1984, celebrando uno dei maggiori collezionisti italiani della prima metà del Novecento. Nello stesso anno veniva allestita, in quella che era stata la dimora veneziana di Vittorio Cini, l’esposizione permanente di un nucleo di pregio della sua raccolta, donato nel 1981 dalla figlia Yana Cini Alliata di Montereale.

Il monumento al suo mecenatismo restava comunque il castello di Monselice, dove una parte delle sue collezioni, come la celebre armeria, era stata ordinata dalla geniale personalità di Nino Barbantini. A quarant’anni dalla scomparsa, la Fondazione Giorgio Cini intende celebrare il suo Fondatore proprio per l’intensa attività d’illuminato collezionista di opere d’arte antiche, tra i maggiori del secolo scorso.


Presiede: Andrea De Marchi
* Alvar González-Palacios, Un ritratto di Vittorio Cini
* Maurizio Reberschak, Vittorio Cini, uomo del “secolo breve”
* Stefano Bruzzese, Per Vittorio Cini collezionista: il rapporto con Bernard Berenson
* Antonella Chiodo, Due ferraresi a Venezia. Vittorio Cini, Nino Barbantini e la loro idea di collezione
* Mauro Natale, Vittorio Cini e Federico Zeri.

Presiede : Mauro Natale
* Andrea De Marchi, Vittorio Cini collezionista di primitivi tra Bernard Berenson e Federico Zeri.

* Andrea Bardelli, Guido Cagnola (1861-1954) collezionista per natura, umanista per vocazione
* Annamaria Bava, La collezione d’arte antica di Riccardo Gualino (1879-1964) alla Galleria Sabauda
* Boz ̇ ena Anna Kowalczyk, Aldo Crespi (1885-1978) collezionista. L’intervista alla figlia Giulia Maria
* Anna Orlando, Angelo Costa (1901-1976) e la riscoperta del Barocco genovese negli anni di Vittorio Cini.

Per saperne di più

Hairy Mary


Hairy Mary, by the Stuff of Ancient, Medieval, and Early Modern Manuscripts Departmenet, The British Library.

Recently I was going through the British Library’s Sir John Ritblat Treasures Gallery with a friend, who asked how we know which saint is which. This is a fair question; medieval manuscripts rarely supply captions with their images. But luckily for future curators, medieval artists often identified saints and other figures by means of special attributes associated with them.

St Peter often holds a set of keys. St Catherine often rests on a wheel, since she was said to have broken the wheel on which she was supposed to be martyred. And if you see a woman completely covered in long hair and holding three loaves, chances are it’s a depiction of Mary of Egypt.

According to a saint’s life written by Sophronius, patriarch of Jerusalem, Mary of Egypt was born somewhere in Egypt in the middle of the 4th century. At the age of 12, she ran away from her parents to Alexandria, where she appears to have lived a Late Antique version of ‘Sex and the City’. Sophronius particularly condemns her enjoyment of her numerous amorous liaisons.

According to Sophronius, Mary eventually went to Jerusalem for the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. She was not interested in the religious festival, but was rather looking for more sexual partners. However, she found she could not enter the Church of the Holy Sepulchre until she repented of her lifestyle and promised to become a hermit. Stricken with remorse, she travelled into the wilderness, taking only three loaves of bread as sustenance.

While in the wilderness, Mary was spotted by St Zosimas, who tossed her his mantle and persuaded her to tell him her story. Zosimas went looking for her again a year later, but found her dead, and buried her with the aid of a helpful lion (as you do).

Mary became a popular figure in medieval art and literature. This is perhaps not surprising, given her memorable life, openness about her previous lifestyle, and her distinctive appearance. A whole series of bas-de-page scenes in the Smithfield Decretals were devoted to her, and she appears in countless devotional texts. Nevertheless, different artists interpreted her story slightly differently

Be warned, however: not all hairy ladies are Mary of Egypt. Mary Magdalen, who was also construed as an ex-prostitute in some medieval accounts of her life, was sometimes depicted with long hair, as seen in the Sforza Hours.

In some of the Alexander romances, Alexander is said to have come across women with hair down to their feet who lived in the forest—sort of female versions of wodewoses. Medieval artists—and modern curators—certainly loved ladies who knew how to let their hair down.

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PS (by Anna Melograni). I highly recommend on this subject: Alan Bennett, Going to the Pictures, London 2005 (Faber & Faber).

Hebrew Fragments in European Libraries

WEBSITE: Books within Books: Medieval Hebrew Fragments in European Libraries.

Books within books: Hebrew Fragments in European Libraries is a European network of scholars working on fragments of medieval Hebrew books and documents recovered from book bindings and notarial files in various libraries and archives in Europe, Israel and USA.

Hebrew manuscripts are important and often unique witnesses of Jewish presence and intellectual activities in medieval Europe. Only a small percentage of the books and writings produced in the past have been preserved. The corpus of fragments reused in bindings has considerably enriched our knowledge of medieval Hebrew manuscripts.

Thousands of such fragments have been identified in various libraries and collections in Austria, England, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland and Czech Republic. The richness and diversity of this corpus, referred to as well as the ‘European Genizah’, by analogy to the treasure trove of Hebrew fragments recovered from the Cairo Genizah, offers a unique opportunity to reconstruct the history of the Hebrew book and of the Jewish communities in Medieval Europe.

This European network has two main objectives:
– To provide a framework for collaboration and exchange between existing projects in various European countries, and to diffuse news about major scientific events and publications concerning Medieval Hebrew manuscripts
– To provide a systematic inventory and description of the Hebrew fragments in a series of Catalogue publications and as an online database accessible to registered users.

The European network was created in 2007 as the initiative of the chairpersons of several projects which have been carried on at a national level or in a specific library or archive. Several projects have been carried on for many years and have already elaborated a database and/or inventories of Hebrew fragments, others are at a less advanced stage of research.

The numbers of fragments identified in each country vary from several dozen (Switzerland) to several thousand (Italy). Coordinated from the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris, France, the network includes today some twenty partners in eight countries.

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Opicinus’s Medieval Cartographic Imagination

BOOK: K. Whittington, Body-Worlds: Opicinus de Canistris and the Medieval Cartographic Imagination, Turnhout 2014 (Brepols Publishers), II+212 p., 45 colour ill., € 70,00.

In 1334, an Italian priest named Opicinus de Canistris fell ill and experienced a divine vision of continents and oceans transformed into human figures, a vision which inspired numerous drawings. While they relate closely to contemporary maps and seacharts, religious iconography, medical illustration, and cosmological diagrams, Opicinus’s drawings cannot be assimilated to any of these categories. In their beautiful strangeness they complicate many of our assumptions about medieval visual culture, and spark lines of inquiry into the interplay of religion and science, the practice of experimentation, the operations of allegory in the fourteenth century, and ultimately into the status of representation itself.

Kress Postdoc Fellowship at the Index


FELLOWSHIP: Kress Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Index of Christian Art, 2017-2018.

The Index of Christian Art is pleased to invite applications for a one-year postdoctoral fellowship for AY 2017-2018, with the possibility of renewal contingent on satisfactory performance.

Funded by a generous grant from the Kress Foundation, the Kress Postdoctoral Fellow will collaborate with permanent research and professional staff to develop taxonomic and research enhancements for the Index’s redesigned online application, which is set to launch in fall 2017.

Salary is $60,000 plus benefits for a 12-month appointment, with a $2,500 allowance provided for scholarly travel and research. The Fellow will enjoy research privileges at Princeton Libraries as well as opportunities to participate in the scholarly life of the Index and the Department of Art & Archaeology.

The successful candidate will have a specialization in medieval art from any area or period; broad familiarity with medieval images and texts; a sound grasp of current trends in medieval studies scholarship; and a committed interest in the potential of digital resources to enrich work in art history and related fields.

Strong foreign language and visual skills, the ability to work both independently and collaboratively after initial training, and a willingness to learn new technologies are highly desirable; previous experience in digital humanities, teaching, and/or library work is advantageous.

Applicants must have completed all requirements for the PhD, including dissertation defense, before the start of the fellowship. Preference will be given to those whose subject expertise complements that of current Index staff.

Applicants must apply on line, submitting a C.V., a cover letter, a research statement, and the names and contact information of three references. The position is subject to the University’s background check policy.

Applications will be reviewed 15 January 2016 and will continue until the position is filled.

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Stolen Leaves and Cuttings


NEWS: Stolen Leaves and Cuttings.

My friend Peter Kidd has been asked to spread the word about a number of leaves and cuttings that were stolen from a private collection in London a few years ago. Rather than post them all at once, he will aim to do one per day for the next several days and then do a cumulative list that you can print out and keep handy for future reference.

Please circulate the details to colleagues. If you see, or have seen, any of them please contact info@samfogg.com.

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Il commercio degli stracci da carta

ARTICLE: Augusto Ciuffetti, Il commercio degli stracci da carta nello Stato pontificio nei secoli XVIII e XIX tra politiche economiche e pratiche mercantili, “Mélanges de l’Ecole française de Rome. Italie et Méditerranée moderne set contemporaines” (MEFRIM), 127-1, 2015, pp. 109-120.


In questo saggio si affronta il tema del rapporto tra Stato e mercato negli ultimi secoli dell’età moderna. Il ruolo delle istituzioni e gli obiettivi del mercantilismo sono studiati in riferimento al settore della carta e della sua materia prima, cioè gli stracci, in un’area ben delimitata, costituita dallo Stato pontificio. Per garantire alle cartiere un regolare approvvigionamento di stracci e per limitare la loro esportazione e il contrabbando, tra Settecento e Ottocento le autorità pontificie cercano di varare numerosi progetti di riforma, ma senza ottenere dei risultati concreti. Tale esito si deve anche al particolare atteggiamento dei mercanti, costantemente impegnati a difendere i loro interessi.

Contact: a.ciuffetti@univpm.it

Shame on you, London!


NEWS: In via di demolizione, nella quasi totale indifferenza degli abitanti di Londra, il famosissimo Cresent di Regent’s Park progettato da John Nash, l’architetto di Buckingham Palace, per costruire 73 nuovi appartamenti di lusso. La metà destra della mezza luna non esiste più.

Ecco com’era.


Ed ecco come si presenta oggi lo spazio di Park Crescent, W1.

Per saperne di più, leggi il Daily Mail oppure The Times

Queen Celebrates her 90th Birthday Today


NEWS: Queen Elizabeth II photographed with youngest royals to mark 90th birthday.

To most she is the Queen, but to her great-grandson and future king, Prince George, she is apparently “Gan Gan”. To mark her 90th birthday, it is in the latter role that the celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz has captured Britain’s first nonagenarian monarch, surrounded by her five great-grandchildren and two youngest grandchildren.

In a highly stylised portrait, released by Buckingham Palace, it is the woman who is celebrated, rather than the sovereign. With Princess Charlotte, the 11-month-old daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on her lap, the Queen is flanked by Prince George, and Zara Phillip’s daughter Mia, both two, Peter Phillips’s daughters Savannah, five, and Isla, three, and the Earl and Countess of Wessex’s children, James, Viscount Severn, eight, and Lady Louise Windsor, 12.

The last time the Queen was photographed by Leibovitz, “Crowngate” exploded, when a trailer for a BBC documentary featuring behind-the-scenes footage of the shoot was edited in such a way as to erroneously suggest the Queen had stormed off in a huff.

Two other official pictures are released today, one showing the Queen on the stone terrace of Windsor Castle with her four dogs, corgis Willow and Holly, and dorgis Vulcan and Candy, and another of her sitting with her only daughter, the Princess Royal.

On the eve of her birthday, the Queen was in Windsor to mark a significant milestone in the history of another British institution.

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Buon Natale a tutti i nostri lettori!


Tantissimi auguri di Buon Natale a tutti i nostri amici e lettori con una foto scattata alla Biblioteca Palatina di Parma.

Per non dimenticare Khaled Al-Asaad


NEWS: In modo del tutto indipendente sono stati dedicati a Khaled Al-Asaad (1932-2015), l’archeologo decapitato dall’Isis a Palmira, una mostra e un premio.

MOSTRA: Nel mezzo del mezzo, Palermo, Museo Riso, Albergo delle Povere, Palazzo Sant’Elia, Cappella dell’Incoronazione e Palazzo delle Aquile, 10 ottobre – 30 novembre 2015, a cura di Christine Macel, Marco Bazzini e Bartomeu Mari. Nella foto: Il Grande Cretto di Alberto Burri a Gibellina (1989), uno dei protagonisti della mostra (qui).

PREMIO: International Archaeological Discovery Award “Khaled al-Asaad”, XVIII Borsa Mediterranea del Turismo Archeologico, Paestum, 29 ottobre – 1 novembre 2015. Il premio sarà assegnato a Katerina Peristeri per la scoperta della Tomba di Amphipolis (Verghina, Grecia) (qui).

«Khaled al-Asaad era uno studioso completo, ma soprattutto era una persona tipica delle famiglie delle città del deserto. Questo tipo di uomini, come i beduini di un tempo, sono caratterizzati da una amabilità, da una cortesia e da un’ospitalità straordinaria che per loro è del tutto naturale. Non eccessiva, ma misurata e discreta. Khaled al-Asaad era una persona di grandissima amabilità, misura e gentilezza d’animo. Anche archeologi che non si occupano di quel periodo, cioè di antichità romane, andavano di frequente a Palmira in visita e la disponibilità di Khaled era totale. Era una personalità fortemente radicata nella città, ma per il carattere internazionale del sito che gestiva era una sorta di cittadino del mondo. In varie occasioni il suo nome era stato proposto per il ruolo di direttore generale delle antichità a Damasco, ma credo che lui preferisse rimanere a Palmira, una città con la quale si identificava. Khaled era talmente sicuro di fare soltanto il suo mestiere che non riteneva di avere motivo di fuggire. E per come lo ricordo non era persona che temesse per la propria vita. Pur essendo in pensione, aveva quasi 82 anni, ha preferito rimanere nella sua città proprio perché ha capito che le antichità correvano dei rischi. E probabilmente ha immaginato che la sua indiscussa autorevolezza morale potesse proteggere maggiormente quello che c’era e c’è tuttora a Palmira: le rovine di un sito archeologico assolutamente straordinario per tutto il Mediterraneo e per tutto il mondo».

Paolo Matthiae

Sono già passati cinque anni!


Oggi il nostro blog compie 5 anni. Grazie a tutti voi per averci seguito in quest’avventura sempre più numerosi. Continuate a segnalarci notizie da mettere online. Ne approfittiamo per farvi tantissimi auguri di Buone Feste.