Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Tale of Love and Psyche: The myth in art from antiquity to Canova

Perin del Vaga, Love and Psyche, 1545-46
Castel Sant'Angelo

The Ministry of Cultural Heritage has decided to celebrate with an exhibition the story of Cupid and Psyche in the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome, at the end of the restoration of the frieze of Perin del Vaga painted by the artist between 1545 and 1546 in the apartments of Paul III.

The tale is dedicated to one of antiquity’s most fascinating legend, as told by Apuleius in his celebrated The Golden Ass. It can also be compared to the most famous poem (n. 85) of the Latin poet Catullus:

Odi et amo. Qua re id faciam, fortasse requiris.
Nescio, sed fieri sentio et excrucior (Latin text).

Odio e amo. Forse mi chiedi come io faccia.
Non lo so, ma sento che cio' accade, e ne sono tormentato (Italian text).

Hate and love. Perhaps you ask me how I do.
I do not know, but I feel that this is happening and I am tormented (English text).

The touching love story between Cupid and Psyche has inspired artists through the ages. 
The most famous examples are: 

Raphael’s frescoes in the home of Agostino Chigi, the famous loggia in Villa Farnesina

Giulio Romano’s equally famous frescoes in Mantua’s Palazzo Te
 Canova’s renowned sculptures are also among the great works of art inspired by the legend.

The tale itself is quite well known – it tells the turbulent story of Cupid and Psyche, and the young girl’s ordeals at the hands of Venus before she was finally able to marry her beloved – and can be interpreted in many different ways: as a symbol of troubled love in antiquity, or as the triumph of marriage during the Renaissance. The Baroque era emphasized the dramatic and theatrical aspects of the legend, and between the 18th and 19th centuries, it became an emblem of wistful love, and was often associated to the themes of abandonment and sleep.

The exhibition will run until June 10, 2012 at Castel Sant'Angelo.

Don't miss this occasion!

Antinoo: il Fascino della Bellezza

Antinous was a beautiful young man, from Bithynia. He was the favourite of the Roman emperor Hadrian.

For the first time in the Antiquarium of the Canopus of Villa Adriana in Tivoli, an exhibition on Antinous will be displayed together with other artworks.

The exhibition will be opened between April 5th and November 4th, 2012.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Umbria: a region full of surprises and legends

Map of Umbria

Umbria is one of the smallest and the only landlocked Italian regions between Lazio, Tuscany and Abruzzo.

The region beauty lies in the bond that Umbrians have have had with their rich and glorius past: museums, castles and fortresses, modern and contemporary art, artistic and historical events wait for you in Umbria.
The small cities, fortress and castles are perfectly integrated within the landscape and the countryside, leaving an extraordinary heritage.

Castle of Alviano

One of the most beautiful example is the Castle of Alviano, guardian of the Tiber valley. Built in the late 15th century by the Bartolomeo d'Alviano, it has maintained its majesty over the centuries.

Rocca di Assisi
The Rocca di Assisi, destroyed in 1198, was rebuilt in the 14th century, and the underwent further modifications, without losing its austere appearance. After the latest restoration, the Rocca has been opened to the public hosting cultural and artistic events.

Viw of Spoleto with the Rocca

The huge complex of the Rocca Albornoziana, with the park that extends around it, characterises the city of Spoleto, well re-known for the Festival dei Due Mondi.

Lake Trasimeno

Lake Trasimeno is the biggest lake in the central of Italy. It features the monumental Rocca del Leone that dominates Castiglione del Lago, the Rocca of Isola Polvese, and the Castle of the Knight of Malta at Magione.

Santuario della Madonna del Belvedere

Citta' di Castello is protected by Castello Bufalini, trasformed in the 16th century into a refined noble residence decorated with paintings, including a Madonna by Pinturicchio.

Umbertide's Rocca

At Umbertide rises the magnificent Rocca, the emblem of the city and now a lively cultural centre.

The Valnerina covers the south-eastern area of Umbria, proclaimed by Unesco a World Heritage site. This corner of Umbria is another enjoyable experience.

Umbria is an alternative to your holiday, a place to discover and to enjoy with family and friends!
Soon there will be escorted tours there, so keep in touch!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Correggio at the NGV and at the Galleria Borghese

Correggio, Madonna and Child with the Infant St John the Baptist at the NGV

Last year the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne has unveiled one of the most expansive artworks of the entire collection. In fact, when I went to Melbourne to present a lecture at the Johnstone Collection, I have seen this painting on display for the first time in my life.

The painting is considered executed by Antonio Allegri, more commonly know as Correggio, a well re-known northern Italian artist. Influenced by Mantegna's work in Mantua, Correggio's major artworks were executed in Parma. 

His work can be compared to the Danae, always by Correggio at the Galleria Borghese in Rome. This painting, commissioned by Frederick II Gonzaga as a present for Charles V, is considered one of his masterpieces. The episode is extrapolated by the Loves of Jupiter  by Ovid's Metamorphes.

Correggio, Danae at the Galleria Borghese

Now what do you see in this painting? Are there similarities?

A presto!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Time flies: the Auckland Art Gallery!

Time flies, moving around as always to make life more interesting!
Here a mix of photos from the refurbished Auckland Art Gallery

Since the gallery has reopened the doors in early September so many people have gone to visit this new amazing place, therefore if you have occasion, go and visit the gallery!

You can find a very big variety of artworks.....

A presto!

Rome: the Forum

Visit Rome! Speak Italian!

Forum by Simona

Forum by Simona

What a beautiful thing...going to Rome and visit the Forum, walking along the old Roman ruins with some friends or by your own. Why not enjoy this especially when is getting warmer? 

So if you are planning your holiday in the next few months learn some intensive Italian in the next few weeks or after Easter.

Just get in touch!!

021 110 4462

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