New York Arts in Italy

La cultura italiana. Recensioni di mostri, concerti, l’opera, ed altri destinazioni culturali in Italia.
Italy in the Berkshire Review: reviews of exhibitions, concerts, opera, theater, and other cultural destinations in Italy.

The target areas established by Florens 2010 and proposals for solutions

Filippo Napoletano, La Fiera di Impruneta, oil on canvas, 1618. Galleria Palatina.

Much of the report on Florens 2010 deals with analyses of the kind of data we associate with audience surveys. The data a statistical, and in digesting them, the authors work with quantified phenomena that can be consistently compared. The methods, which are clearly described, reflect standard methods and different studies are brought in for comparison.

“Gratta da Vinci” – Scratch and Win…a “da Vinci”! The Battle over the Battle of Anghiari

When Daniel Gallagher began his 500th birthday tribute to Giorgio Vasari in late September with an article on the Salone del Cinquecento in the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, he had little idea that the investigation into the survival and location of the remains of a lost wall painting by Leonardo da Vinci, about which he wrote so benignly, would lead to the sudden storm of protest which has now brought the work to a halt.

Some Roman Restaurants, a Thanksgiving Visit to the Eternal City

All serious visitors to Rome have a place that they always considered their personal find, but whose existence is inevitably revealed to the world at large, with a resulting change in ambience. Mine is Ristorante Pietro Valentini, just a few steps from the Hotel Portoghesi, where I have often stayed. This is the classic establishment of its sort – family run, and exactly seven tables in the place. But what set Pietro’s apart has always been the quality of the food and the supreme friendliness of Simona, the daughter-in-law of the family, who manages the room. Since the last time I was there the Internet had taken up the restaurant, and indeed some things were different on this trip. An American couple sent there by the concierge at the Excelsior sat in front of me. That did not bother me as much as the absence of two rituals that opened a meal at Pietro’s…

Festive Cooking: the Search for Authentic British Lasagne

On this ship I am Cook. Hence my activities on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter are customarily pretty well established. I may experiment with the stuffing, or we may find some exciting novelty, like Holy Smokes’ fabulous smoked turkeys, but that doesn’t bring any major variation in the drill. I’ve even grown more efficient over the years, so that’s it’s not particularly laborious anymore. In parallel with these prescribed actions, my mind spends Thanksgiving in a mildly crazed reverie of a nostalgic or wistful bent—at least it has been so since 2004, when, as I was readying to make my initial attack on the bird, the telephone rang, with a journalist at the other end, who asked if I would answer a few questions about an elementary school classmate of mine who was in the political spotlight at the time. The journalist seemed personable and serious, and I found myself happy to talk to him, the cordless phone cradled on my shoulder, as I seasoned the turkey and put it in the oven. He’d spoken to a good many others—school friends I remembered, others I’d forgotten…teachers as well, including our inspiring Latin teacher, Joe Agnelli, who helped set me off on a long voyage in Classical waters, the ancient world—the other hemisphere of history. The family thought I was crazy to talk on the phone like that, but there seemed no reason not to, as long as I had the use of my hands.

Il primato dei Toscani nelle ‘Vite’ del Vasari. Basilica inferiore di San Francesco (Arezzo). Until 9 January 2012.

Vasari’s partiality toward Tuscan artists may have been for good reason. Classicism had become the standard, and nobody did classicism better than the Tuscans. By the time Vasari wrote the Lives, the Tuscans, unlike the Venetians and Flemish, were already showing signs of a “school” rather than merely a distinct “style.” Of all the major art centers in Europe, Florence was the most international, combining the best techniques available from north to south. Having perfected the art of representation, they only needed someone to put its rules into some kind of order.

Filippino Lippi e Sandro Botticelli nella Firenze del ‘400, Scuderie del Quirinale

Filippino Lippi was able to paint his way out of a disreputable birth (his father was a Carmelite monk and his mother an Augustinian nun), but he wasn’t able to paint his way into history books as well as his mentor and studio-mate Sandro Botticelli. This is all the more striking since Sandro’s popularity was in decline after his spiritual crisis at the turn of the century, whereas Filippino, endowed with tanto ingenio and a vaghissima e copiosa invenzione, as Vasari tells us, was hardly able to keep up with commissions.

Lorenzo Bartolini: Scultore del bello naturale

The rebellion against French academicism in the nineteenth century was carried out from several angles. A variety of new themes, subjects, and techniques were used as ammunition, and the expanding international market widened the battlefield. It was more than a two-sided contest between “conformists” and “non-conformists,” for there were multiple camps of non-conformists each of whom eventually found something else to cling to.

A tip for our readers: How to get the most out of New York Arts and The Berkshire Review for the Arts.
What if I hate reading on computer screens, even tablets?
We get occasional inquiries from readers about whether we plan to launch a print edition of our arts journals. The answer is that we've given it some thought, and we're still thinking about it.
It is not only our older readers who object to reading them online. There are even some millennials who would rather read from paper. One of our readers got the simple idea of using the sites as sophisticated tables of contents. She prints out each article on three-hole paper and files them in a loose-leaf album. I've devoted a lot of time to finding the very best print and pdf facility there is. Just click on one of the icons at the top right of the article and print!
Click here to make your tax-deductible donation to The Arts Press, publisher of New York Arts and The Berkshire Review. Or click on the notice in the sidebar. The Arts Press is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the charitable purposes of The Arts Press must be made payable to“Fractured Atlas” only and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.