Posts in Art
For the Love of Typewriters – Olivetti Exhibit Preview

I’ve got something good for you today. To celebrate 110 years of a true Italian icon, Rome’s National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art is hosting an exhibit in honor of Olivetti—Italy’s premier typewriter manufacturer. Tracing a history of design, graphics, technological innovation, and communication, Looking Forward. Olivetti: 110 Years of Imagination, opens today, 20 February 2018, and runs until the 1st of May. It showcases more than 300 images, mostly and vintage photographs publicity posters.

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Rome's Artistic Treasures .... Hidden in Banks

As if Rome didn't possess enough spectacular sights to satisfy the greedy eyes of her art-loving visitors and residents, today we'll get a chance to see even more, like the eye-popping gold-leaf and stuccoed chapel at Palazzo del Monte di Pietà, near Campo de' Fiori. Since even the wealthiest of Rome's old noble families can no longer afford the upkeep on their ancestral palaces, the ones that haven't been turned into museums, embassies, or cultural associations, are mostly in the hands of the banks.

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ArtTiffany ParksComment
Rome's Truly Hidden Gems: The Convent of Santa Francesca Romana

Only in Rome, a city so bursting with artistic and archeological treasures that a lifetime is literally not enough to see them all, could there exist so many untold masterpieces hiding behind closed doors. Take a stroll through the historic center, and chances are a dozen or more world-class works of art will be just beyond your grasp, hidden away in private collections, deconsecrated churches, or impregnable palaces.

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Michelangelo's Rome, 450 Years Later

What better way to celebrate Michelangelo's long life and immense body of work, than spending the 450th anniversary of his death taking a tour of his works. If you're lucky enough to be in his hometown of Florence today, you'll have even more opportunity to do so. But here in Rome, where Michelangelo lived and worked for much of his life, there's still a lot to see.

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ArtTiffany ParksComment
Art's Greatest Kisses

Is there anything more romantic than a kiss? In honor of the supposed most romantic day of the year, here are a few of my favorite art works featuring that most amorous of all gestures. I've been a life-long Toulouse-Lautrec fan; he was one of my absolute favorite painters when I was a young girl. But I have never had the pleasure of seeing this work live, as it is in a private collection. I suppose I'll just have to wait and hope it comes to an exhibition near me.

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Five Ways to Celebrate St. Francis’s Feast Day in Italy

Since I live on a street dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi, and since I can see a church dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi right out my bedroom window, and since my husbadn and I were married by a Franciscan priest, and since our current ever more lovable Pope chose his papal name (many believe) to honor St. Francis of Assisi, I figured it would be a good idea to write a little post today on 4 October, on occasion of the feast day of one of Italy’s all-time best-loved saints.

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ArtTiffany ParksComment
100 years of Renato Guttuso

Born near Palermo, Sicily in 1911, Guttuso was greatly infulenced by Socialist Realism but developed his own unique painting style that, late in his career, tended toward Surrealism. He passionately opposed fascism and the mafia, and joined the banned Italian Communist Party in 1940. He considered himself a political painter and his works often expressed his beliefs and positions, for example the above homage to the exiled leader of the communist party, Palmiro Togliatti.

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Paul Klee in Italy at the GNAM

I am not going to pretend that Paul Klee, the Swiss-born German artist whose work was influenced by expressionism, cubism and surrealism, is my favorite artist. In fact, I visited the Paul Klee Museum in Berne in 2008, and I concluded that I had seen more than enough of his art to last me for the rest of my hopefully long life. So I will admit that I didn't whoop with joy when I heard that an exhibit of his work was coming to Rome. But I have to give it to him, his works are incredibly diverse and contrasting from one another. You could not possibly be bored by an exhibition of his art. Overwhelmed, perhaps. Bored, no.

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Photo Day: Mailing a Letter to Caravaggio

I gasped and stopped in my tracks when I saw this during my Sunday walk. It's not the first time I've seen Caravaggio-inspired street art in Trastevere. The Medusa electrical box was one thing, but this made my easily excitable heart pound with unexpected delight. It's not just because it's inspired by my favorite painter Caravaggio, or because it comes from one of my favorite of his paintings (see below), but because it features the face of a very young Mario Minniti, one of Caravaggio’s favorite models.

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ArtTiffany ParksComment
Paris in Black and White: Photographs of Robert Doisneau

"Some days the mere fact of seeing feels like perfect happiness... You feel so rich you long to share your jubilation with others. The memory of such moments is my most precious possession. Maybe because there've been so few of them. A hundredth of a second here, a hundredth of a second there-- even if you put them end to end they still only add up to one, two, perhaps three seconds snatched from eternity."  Robert Doisneau

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Vermeer in Rome

Yesterday I wrote about the fabulous Italy as seen from the world exhibit at the Ara Pacis, but today even more thrilling things are in store! But first, a disclaimer: a little trick curators here in Rome often indulge in is the creative naming of their exhibits. They come up with fabulous names, but they are often misleading, dropping in big names like Caravaggio and Botticelli to sell more tickets. I don't mean to disappoint you, but this is one of those exhibits.

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The Story of Cupid and Psyche Continues in Villa Farnesina

Yesterday I posted about the new exhibit at Castel Sant’Angelo that brings together dozens of works of art illustrating the fable of Cupid and Psyche. This show, as I wrote yesterday, particularly interested me because I love the idea of an exhibit that tells a story. And what a story, with jealousy, diversity, courage, trust, abandonment, forgiveness and true love conquering all odds, well, Disney could not have topped it.

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ArtTiffany ParksComment
The Fable of Cupid and Psyche at Castel Sant'Angelo

Psyche (whose name means either 'soul' or 'butterfly') is the youngest of three daughters of a king. (Although Psyche is sometimes depicted with butterfly wings, she is a mortal.) Although all three sisters are lovely, Psyche is the most beautiful by far, and people come from distant lands just for the pleasure of admiring her beauty. As you can imagine, this causes Venus, the goddess of beauty, to become enraged with jealousy.

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Michelangelo's Last Judgment and Marcello Venusti's Copy

As if you didn't need another excuse to visit the just-about-to-end Renaissance in Rome exhibit at Palazzo Venezia, here is one more! Marcello Venusti created a copy of Michelangelo's epic Last Judgement in the Sistine Chapel before the latter was brutally censored under Pope Pius IV in 1565. Daniele da Volterra was forced to do the dirty work against his will. He was one of Michelangelo's most devout and adoring followers and he agreed to censor the work only because he was told it would otherwise be destroyed.

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Long-lost Paintings by Michelangelo and Caravaggio: Are They or Aren't They?

One thing these two shows have in common is that each has a work of art on display that has been recently attributed to one of the two passionately adored Michelangelos. At The Renaissance in Rome, the so-called Pietà of Ragusa, literally discovered behind a couch in a middle-class home in Buffalo, New York, recently restored and on display publicly for the first time, is allegedly a long-lost work by Michelangelo Buonarroti himself.

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Salvador Dalì: Renaissance-inspired Surrealism

While I am always up for a new exhibit, I wasn’t expecting to be blown away by this one. I showed up at the exhibit expecting to see some melting clocks and such. I don’t think it’s a mystery to anyone who reads this blog what my artistic preferences are. I have absolutely nothing against Surrealism, but it doesn’t exactly boil my blood either. Nevertheless, this exhibition did.

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A Taste of Home: The Guggenheim Comes to Rome

If you're getting a bit ODed on Italian art, if Caravaggio, Tintoretto, Guercino and all the Renaissance masters are getting you down, if you're an American, like me, living in Rome and trying to make sense of this crazy country, and just need a little bit of home so that things will make sense again, then have I got an exhibit for you! (There's always something on in Rome to solve any problem!)

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