17 August, 2019
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The love for a craft work which turns into art: this is the story of a boy who has preserved an important heritage, guided by his grandmother.

Photo by Claudia Ioan

 

The meeting is at the Retificio Mancinelli, in San Feliciano (Magione). To frame the garden there are the plastic circles of the larger nets, bundled on one side to indicate the industriousness of that villa on the lake, apparently quiet.
Andrea Mancinelli and his grandmother welcome us in the large and bright work room. The morning sun cuts it obliquely like a perfect diamond. On one side, stacked wooden chairs rise face to face with a particular hanger, which instead of cloche, shows some nets.

 

Andrea Mancinelli and grandmother, photo by Claudia Ioan

A room lost in the past

In a room with many windows, Andrea and his grandmother sew the nets. The Retificio Mancinelli could be reduced to this luminous box, where the boy learns an ancient trade and gives it new life. Andrea is guided by a person who is really well known in this area. It does not seem so out of place that table, dangerously similar to the teaching post, sandwiched between boxes filled with nets and covered with sinkers and needles.
A room that seems lost in the past, with the cotton models of the nets and the photo of the late patriarch to keep under control every element of a craft work that has its roots in the daily life of the Trasimeno fishermen.

 

Photo by Claudia Ioan

 

To complete the scene, a sort of wooden stool placed above a cabinet – which I will later discover to be a support for the large nylon traps – and some pulleys hanging from the ceiling, to which Andrea immediately hangs a tofo.
While the photographers are unleashed, I observe the technical perfection of this creation, with its deceptions that trap the fishes. Andrea, meanwhile, gives us a practical demonstration of how the net is attached to the circles, counting the points one by one: every four points, he stops and makes a knot. This is suggests a rather repetitive work, which  demands an extreme attention. What he calls the needle, is actually achecella, a sort of comb with only two teeth that Andrea uses smoothly and careful as if he were combing the hair of his beloved.

 

Photo by Claudia Ioan

Since 1955

According to his grandmother, Andrea still has much to learn. I try to understand if she is proud of her nephew, and of how he has decided to preserve a craft work to which she has dedicated her life. Instead of answering me, she starts talking about herself.
Since 1955 this was her work, but for a year now it has been taking a break because of her health conditions. She has worked a lot and with passion, but now she feels that her energy is fading.
The worry for the health, as well as the difficulty of resigning herself to the inevitability of this situation, make her voice crack – but I do not need to tell her that she is a warrior and that we all would want to have a grandmother like her.

 

Photo by Claudia Ioan

Accuracy and experience

From the demonstration by Andrea we understand that this type of work is extremely complex: it requires precision and experience, as well as an extremely high attention. Andrea deploys a trammel spreading it between the hanger and the window to the east: the nylon, initially a very light blue, seems almost to disappear, suspended between the dust and the late morning sun.

 

Photo by Massimiliano Tuveri

 

Now I understand why the room is so bright. It should not be easy, moreover, to remember the innumerable patterns of the equally innumerable types of the nets. Then some worn out notes appear, stored in the drawers of the teaching post: schemes, numbers, updates. All you need to build a perfect net is written there, on unfolded accounting sheets and notebooks, a humble looking heritage that is worth more than a rare treasure.
It is this knowledge that allows the construction of complicated trammel nets and similar hare hunting nets, or those used at the sea, for the sport, for the shop windows, for the restaurants and for children’s games. Those nets that generations and generations of fishermen have used as their work tools on the Trasimeno Lake, whose pastel green stands out discreetly at the end of the road.

 

Photo by Massimiliano Tuveri

 


Retificio Mancinelli

“There is no form of art like cinema to shake the conscience, the emotions and to reach the secret rooms of the soul”. (Ingmar Bergman)
Filmmaking is an art in which the team – work is necessary. Everyone knows the actors and the director, but the most work comes from the different professionals who, employed behind the backstage, achieve the final purpose: the movie. This philosophy has inspired the Umbrians professionals who work in the world of the filmmaking, to put together their strengths, but above all, their tasks. This is the reason why the Associazione Mestieri del Cinema Umbri was established by Umbrian residents with a qualified experience in the departments of movie and in the television production. The association has among its members, collaborators and partners, over 100 people, with the common aim of developing the growth of the cinema industry in the territory of Umbria.  

Backstage of the film

  «Our goals are numerous: the first is the exchange of ideas. A second goal is that of enhancing a sector, that of cinema industry, which could create many job opportunities. And of course, the dialogue with the institutions, given that there is a 2016 law that should be applied to encourage the filmmaking. In Umbria there are many interesting festivals, but they are part of the distribution sector, but what we would like to focus on and to increase is the production of movies so that various professionals could be involved», explains Federico Menichelli, president of the association. «For Umbria it is a real novelty, nobody had ever thought of creating an association of this kind. Moreover, it is useful for a comparison between professionals and above all, to restart this sector in Umbria», echoes the costume designer Isabella Sensini, also a member of the group. The Umbria Film Commission has recently been established: there are new productions and above all, there are many cinema operators forced to work outside the region: «The Umbria Film Commission can dialogue with our association and could not only welcome new production, but also create products to exported», the president continues.  

Multimedia Center of Terni

  The importance of unity is also supported by Alessio Rossi, casting expert: «Many of us work in Rome or in other cities and this makes Umbria lose its chances of increasing production, for avoiding that, we could create job opportunities here too. Moreover, in the entertainment world the more we are united and know each other, the more we work». Karina Y Muzzio, make up artist, is happy to be part of this group because she believes it is a great opportunity to revive the seventh local art: «Umbria is a region that offers a lot, but it is essential to create unity in order to give a real boost in this sector». The business card presented by the Associazione Mestieri del Cinema Umbri was a short film entitled Umbria: La Rinascita, shot inside the Multimedia Center of Terni. «This is a very important structure, with two studios – one of 900 square meters and one with the green screen – that could be used for training or to attract productions from outside, also thanks to beauty of the surrounding landscape and villages. At the moment, the Municipality of Terni owns it, but it is an empty and unused place. Relaunching it would be fundamental», emphasizes Menichelli.  

The short film

The short film Umbria: La Rinascita was the first step in a technical-artistic movement that, after years of silence and isolation, has Umbrian professionals in the name of mutual respect for common projects. The short film was made with the complete and total investment of all the professionals of the various departments: they participated for free to support their region of origin.  

Valeria Ciangottini e Federico Menichelli

  «As a good craftsman, our first step was to shoot a short film. We are very satisfied because we have reached over 23,000 views and we involved artists likes Alfiero Toppetti and Valeria Ciangottini. Everyone gave what it is possible to give. Among the participants – and it is an important sign – there is also the municipal administration of Terni. Our next step is to attract the attention of entrepreneurs and the Region, which have to achieve the same level of the more advanced national panorama. A cinema fund is necessary and productions needs to be attracted to Umbria: the strength of the region lies in the fact that, on the big screen, it does not appear so often. Here, putting together all the pieces we can do a lot», concludes Federico Menichelli.  

In the various cultural centers that emerge in Italy and especially in Umbria, textile production plays an important role in expressing taste, the idea of ​​beauty and the values ​​of an era. The textile sector is one of the forms of craftsmanship strongly rooted in the Umbrian economic-social reality.

Popular Art

The charm of this region is discovered through this glorious folk art, which translates into the production between the Fourteenth and Fifteenth century of the famous Tovaglie Perugine, made of white linen. The pannili alla peroscina were appreciated and marketed throughout Europe from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. In the historic center of Perugia, there is still the historical weaving workshop by Giuditta Brozzetti. It is one of the last weaving workshops in Italy where only original looms are used. In addition to Perugia an interesting point of reference is in Città di Castello where, in the splendid rooms of Palazzo Tommasini, in pizza A. Costa, there is the laboratory Tela Umbra, born as a charitable institution by the Baroness Alice Franchetti Hallgarten in order to protect the conservation of this ancient art.

 

Madonna della Misericordia. 1482. Museo Comunale di Montone

Embroidery and Technique

In Umbria the fabric work is also reproduced by local and foreign painters, through a variety of shapes and techniques; the fabrics underline the almost unreal beauty of Virgin covered with large cloaks entirely painted but which seem to be embroidered on the canvas. In the Fifteenth and the following century, many textile workshops are endowed with the presence of artists, masters and foreigners who bring new techniques and make new embroideries known; the artists therefore also rely on the workshops of the embroiderers, who enjoy a consideration that is not inferior to that of the painters. The garments depicted in the various works in the Umbrian territory are great. The fabrics that are most painted are velvets, damasks, lampas and brocades, a symbol of great value. Next to the processing of the fabrics also that of embroidery, enjoys great prestige. In painters, the garments of their characters are full of charm and elegance and the dress is an integral part of the figure. The design is built with a magnificent and solemn conception of balance: the floral decorations in the Virgin’s garments are becoming more important, recalling acanthus shoots, of classical memory. The suit completes the character: it is the spirit of its elegance and the expression of its refinement.

 

Madonna del Belvedere di Ottaviano Nelli

A dress, an era

And just by observing the change in the shape of the dress and the fabrics, it is possible to perceive the alternation, in works of art, of eras and styles. Of particular importance is the Madonna del Belvedere (1413), a masterpiece of the most famous painter Ottaviano Nelli. The dress delicately follows the body line, while the wide sleeves bear witness to the inspiration of time: not only the garments are embellished with gold, but with the same technique the clothes of the musician angels have also been reproduced. The fundamental garment in the Fifteenth century was in fact the gamurra: a long dress, closed by buttons or by side strings.

 

Beato Angelico di Polittico Guidalotti

Not only does the Virgin have ample and precious clothes, but in the late Gothic style altarpiece (1420-1430) by Antonio Alberti, preserved in the Pinacoteca of Città di Castello, also San Benedetto and San Bartolomeo on the right and left of the Virgin, have very sought after with floral decorations in gold. San Nicola instead, of the Polittico Guidalotti (1437), a famous work by Giovanni da Fisiesole, known as Beato Angelico, is absorbed in reading. In his clothes, gold is not an overlapping element but is woven together with the canvas. The precious brocade of the cope is investigated with a Flemish view of light. The same treatment is used for the white and red dress that emerges from the cope.

 

Madonna dell’Orchestra di Giovanni Boccati

 

Is painted in a monumental way the Madonna dell’Orchestra (1448-1458) by Giovanni Boccati. What is most striking is the Virgin’s dark blue brocade dress with gold floral motifs. A type of Madonna very represented in Umbria is the Madonna della Misericordia, that is the Virgin who welcomes the faithful under her own mantle. The beautiful Virgin of a follower of Niccolò di Liberatore (XV century), now kept in the Civic Museum of Trevi, wears a red amaranth dress decorated with floral motifs and a sumptuous cloak drapes over her shoulders. Very similar is another Madonna della Misericordia (1482) by Bartolomeo Caporali, preserved in the Municipal Museum of Montone: a gold tunic with flowers is the protagonist of the whole scene. Finally worthy of mention, are the Madonna in trono e Santi (1462) by Matteo da Gualdo, now preserved in the Municipal Museum of Gualdo Tadino and the Madonna del Soccorso (XV century) by Francesco Melanzio, in the Municipal Museum of S. Francesco in Montefalco, recently restored.

 

Madonna in trono e Santi di Matteo da Gualdo

 

Finally, beautiful elegantly dressed women are depicted in pump plates, typical of Deruta pottery: the ladies remember, for delicacy of the features and for physiognomy, the type of Virgin painted by Pinturicchio. One of them, housed in the Civic Museum of Ceramics in Deruta (XVI century), is depicted with a blue dress embroidered in gold.
In Deruta also Santa Caterina d’Alessandria, of more recent epoch to the previous noblewomen, is dressed with a long and refined dress with a blue and gold decoration. The Saint, protector of Deruta potters, frames the ancient art of fabrics, lace and decorations, not embroidered on the fabric but rather paintings on canvas, in Umbrian works of art.

 

Francesco Melanzio. Madonna del soccorso

«A fragrant land that evokes the colors of yellow, green and orange».

The interview with Emanuela Aureli begins immediately with a joke: “Do you deal with excellences, so why are you interviewing me ?!” I am interviewing you because you are yourself an Umbrian excellence in your field. Born in Terni, the actress and imitator is nice and friendly, while we are talking on the phone she greets the neighbors and confesses that he is setting up home: “If I’m out of breath it’s because I’m cleaning.” The chat is fun, as if we had known each other for a long time and naturally we start talking about our region.

 

Emanuela Aureli

Which is your link with Umbria?

I have a very strong bond: it is my own land and I am very proud of it. In Umbria I have my family, I have memories linked to many moments of my life. My son was born in Perugia: we must go beyond the sports rivalry between the two cities. Given that I am not a football fan I can not understand it.

How did you get on television and gain fame, starting from a provincial town?

As a child, I knew and felt that this job was my destiny. I felt it inside and I managed to realize my dream. It all started in 1992 when my mother – without I knew it – enrolled me in the Corrida. I was already an imitator, but I felt really scared, in fact I initially got angry. My mum incited me saying, “Go, try it!” So I participated imitating Al Bano and Romina, Patty Pravo and Mietta. I won the episode and from that moment on, all has been starting. In a certain way it was my mother who let me enter this world.

Actress, imitator and TV character: what is the profession that suits you best?

All of them. On television you have to be prepared in the details and study a lot. Soon I am having an audition for a fiction, I hope it goes well. We must always be ready.

Is there a character that you would like to imitate, but that you has not yet done?

Yes, a lot. The first that comes to mind is Adriano Celentano. He is a very exploited character and it is very difficult to imitate his voice to the best

In order to avoid to do something that everyone does?

I prefer that he remains an icon.

If you were to imitate Umbria how would you represent it?

I would show the genuine people with their great humanity. Then the colors of the valleys and the scent of grass and the land. Often Umbrian people are accused of being closed, I do not believe it at all. Indeed, we are very hospitable, we are always welcomed. I do not recognize myself in this closure and I do not even feel it. Those who come to visit Umbria are aware of our hospitality: many have told me it.

 

I know taht you love painting: have you ever represented Umbria?

Instead of going to the gym, I paint. I really like it and it relaxes me. I have often painted Umbria, its valleys, its colors and its light. It is a luminous land: yellow, orange and green. I love our landscapes and recently I put Collesecco on canvas. I would like to organize an exhibition and bring my paintings abroad too.

How would you describe Umbria in three words?

Familiar, welcoming, warm.

The first thing that comes to your mind thinking of this region…

The smell of home.

“On the one hand I would like no one, after listening to me and asking for explanations, to be disappointed. I would like, having amended the numerous erroneous or mutilated places and unveiled the obscure ones, the reader whom else could wish “. 

 

Francesco Maturanzio (1443-1518) was an important manuscript from Perugia, a humanist at the service of the arts and the city, a university professor, municipal secretary, ambassador and municipal historian. The origin of his surname was born in Perugia: his grandfather, Matteo di Giovanni, practices the art of tanning woolen cloths, an activity then also practiced by Marco, father of Francesco. Hence the origin of the surname Matarazzo, later transformed by Francesco in Maturanzio to ennoble the family.
Francesco Maturanzio dedicates his life to study: in Greece, the cradle of classicism, he deepens the language. Returned to his homeland in 1474, his state of mind was affected by the serious political struggle that affected Perugia in those years: moral and social disorder, often bloody struggles, between among the noble families of the Baglioni and the degli Oddi, tore the enthusiasm and ideals patriotic that animate the thought of the humanist. He decides to leave his city for Vicenza, he will return only in 1497, recalled to Perugia by the beloved humanist Amico Graziani, to whom he owed the commission to the Perugino of the frescoes of the Collegio del Cambio.

 

Inspiration

The most authentic opera is the Collegio del Cambio. The cycle is presented as a unitary, but very complex organism. Francesco Maturanzio took into consideration many erudite works for his own inspiration: De Astronomia by Igino for the sky; in his library there is in fact a print of the work of 1482. For the reproduction of the four Cardinal Virtues and heroes, the iconographic source from which Maturanzio took inspiration is De Inventione by Cicerone; a print is also present in its library. Finally, under the vault of the Moon, represented Catone.
This character recalls Francesco Maturanzio: both accept the loneliness of exile in order to maintain their ideal of freedom against tyranny and against all political hatreds.

 

The exhibition

The Library Augusta 500 years after his death, celebrates Francesco with an exhibition: Francesco Maturanzio. The routes of Humanism, until 26 January 2019, curated by Francesca Grauso, Alberto Maria Sartore and Paolo Renzi, in which he relives his prestigious collection of books, kept right inside the library, as well as documents, mostly unpublished, coming from the collections of the State Archives of Perugia and from the cities in which Maturanzio taught. Some volumes arrive in Augusta thanks to the original legacy of Prospero Podiani, others are transferred to the library in 1798, thanks to the librarian Luigi Canali; in this way the library has been able to preserve most of the books that belonged to Maturanzio. Inside the exhibition it is possible to admire a miniated manuscript of the Bertoliana Library of Vicenza, a register of the Vicenza State Archive, an autograph collection of orations from the Historical Archive of the University of Perugia; during the exhibition, you can also see an images of the frescoes of the Collegio del Cambio and of the fresco of the Baglioni palace on Colle Landone. Also on show is the reconstruction of the genealogical tree of the Maturanzio family, reconstructed by Alberto Maria Sartore.It presents the first edition in the original language of the entire corpus of Aristotle, published in five volumes by Aldo Manuzio. A document identified by Alberto Maria Sartore proves to be of fundamental importance for the reconstruction of his library: in October 1529, at the death of Aurelio Apollinare, Francesco’s son, the will expressed in his father’s will to donate his library was made executive to the Benedictine monastery of San Pietro.The exhibition has obtained the Logo of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018.

 

Francesco Maturanzio. Le rotte dell’Umanesimo

26 ottobre – 26 gennaio 2019

Sala espositiva della Biblioteca Augusta

 

In our imagination, museums’ deposits are dusty warehouses full of marvellous works, more or less guiltily removed from the public view. Some of them are temporarily exhibited in place of others on loan or in restoration, other still await the visit of scholars or connoisseurs who can study and better enhance them; other finally, though valuable and sometimes beautiful, they carry on themselves too many offenses of time so they can’t be exposed to the public.

Giovanni Baronzio. Imago Pietatis

 

The National Gallery of Umbria in Perugia completes the celebration of its first hundred years of life with an exhibition until January 6th, 2019 called: The other Gallery. Works of deposits, that brings to light the less known works. The exhibition offers the visitor an opportunity to discover unpublished works among the pictorial beauties of the thirteenth century up to the middle of the sixteenth century

New techniques

The works were first subject to diagnostic investigations and conservation interventions, thanks to a team of restoration specialists of the Umbrian and Tuscan territory that used innovative systems of painting and cutting-edge conservation methods. New attributions, new dates and findings on provenance, technique and old restorations have made it possible to clarify the identity card of each product and to be able to better evaluate the qualities. Cesare Brandi said: «The restoration is the methodological moment of the recognition of the work in its physical consistency and in the double aesthetic-historical polarity, in view of its transmission to the future».

 

Madonna with the Child, Giovanni Battista and Benedetto.

The amazing discovery

So bright colours have emerged by thick deposits of dirt and heavy layers of yellowed paint, as in the Crucifix and Santa Maria Maddalena, in the Madonna with the Child, San Girolamo and Sant’Antonio da Padova by Matteo di Giovanni and in God and Angels of Mariano of Ser Austerio. Unpublished polychromes are surfaced by strongly damaged boards due to cleaning carried out with aggressive substances; details of intense suggestion have also been discovered, such as the stigmata on the legs of the Mystic Lamb or the prayer of the Virgin engraved by the author of Saint Catherine.

 

The exhibit

The other Gallery is therefore configured as an extension of the museum itinerary, in which we find names already known as Giovanni Boccati, Bartolomeo Caporali and Perugino, and figures that, on the other hand, return to the exhibition circuit after a long time, or they make their first appearance as the Master of Dossali di Subiaco, Melozzi da Forli, Meo da Siena, Allegretto Nuzi, Rossellino di Jacopo Franchi, Eusebio from San Giorgio, Berto di Giovanni, Domenico Alfani and Dono Doni. In addition, some frescoes are also visible, detached from the Santa Giuliana monastery in the choir, in the refectory and in the chapter hall of the church itself. From these rooms comes the fresco with the rare representation of San Galgano. The exhibition offers the visitor a unique and special occasion to admire a refined selection of tables at the golden age of the Umbrian school.

Italy is considered an open-air museum by UNESCO. Churches, palaces, Greek, Etruscan, Arab, Longobard Roman, bridges, paintings, frescoes, statues. In Italy everything is art.

Italy hides an artistic heritage that few know and that summarizes in itself the stories of every era: the stones. The stones are obviously made of stone, they do not move but they speak in silence.
Through their paths, they tell stories of travel, of betrayals, of love and curiosity. There are smooth or chiseled stones and stones with inscriptions or even with bas-reliefs, imported stones and bare stones and stones on stones. Then there is color, grain and texture. In short, what looks like a simple piece of construction encompasses an infinite story.

The color of the stones

Perched on top of the hills of central Italy, stone mountains shaped like towns and cities are visible. Each region has a different color. It starts from the gray of the “pietra serena” in Tuscany to get to the brown of the tuff in Etruria. Assisi is pink like the stone of the Subasio that dominates it so as the plateaux of San Terenziano has its pink stone. Moreover, there is the travertine in Lazio and the white stone of Lecce and so on. Simple, just know what is the stone of the area and there is nothing else to see. It is not exact, this is just the beginning.

 

Gualdo Cattaneo

The Mother Church

Cinema and TV have made us know the House on the prairie or the American terraced houses strictly made of wood, swept away by hurricanes or burned from top to bottom. Italy, on the other hand, has marbles and stones that can’t burn, or fly, which have been still standing for 2000 years and that have been distributed like a deck of cards.
To learn how to look and under stand them, it is better to start from a small town like Gualdo Cattaneo that overlooks the Puglia valley and stands above the Umbrian valley. From the fortified tower of Gualdo Cattaneo, Spello, Foligno and also the fortress of Spoletoare visible. If you see, you are seen then you are coveted. Gualdo Cattaneo was the object of desire of the cities in that area, and Pope Alexander VI Borgia bought it to build the fortress. Strong point, impregnable by the dreadful warriors of Perugia. The ascent toward the keep, then the square and the Mother Church, the center of the village is reached.
It starts from the church, even from the foundations of the church that are visible from the street behind the apse. The church lays on gigantic and heavy stones, brought there by the legendary Cyclops so firm that no earthquake has never demolished them. Difficult to find more solid foundations. They were the ancient walls of Gualdo Cattaneo. Why did they build a church on the ancient walls? Because nothing is thrown away and because if it is solid and ready it is usable If it is beautiful and decorative, it is moved to another place. On the facade of the church are the symbols of the four evangelists. Two are white and two pink. All imported stone: the pink ones from San Terenziano and white ones from Giano dell’Umbria. Then you enter the church and descend into the crypt.
The crypt, like almost all the crypts, is built with ancient materials. Columns and capitals that once layed somewhere abandoned, remains of the imposing buildings of Roman times, were used there. This was the best reuse of them, because the Roman marbles, even the imperial ones, were fused together to obtain bricks.

A tour among the stones

 Poverty and fundamentalist religions caused incalculable damages. We have lost an infinite number of works of art, but we still have them, even if they are not in their original shape. Leaving the Church and walking through the village, there are gothic or modified gothic windows, travertines, existing only elsewhere – perhaps in Giano – inserted as a point of support in the buildings. Here and there are stones with inscriptions from every era, from Roman times onwards, inserted because of the lack of a brick or simply because they were decorative or because they remembered an event. Ancient entrances hidden in the walls are discovered one and a half meters above the ground, but with the floor level unchanged. The fear of the rats suggested to build in safety. It was used a flying wooden ladder, which in the evening was retired inside the house. A little like the Walsers, who lived in the Alps, and built their wooden houses on stone mushrooms.
If you’d like toh ave a trip among the stones, and learn more, you can contact the municipality of Gualdo Cattaneo, which organizes guided tours under the supervision of dr. Andrea Peruzzi, a true expert in lapidary art and epigraphy. You will have fun!

The art of Joan Mirò on display at Palazzo della Corgna in Castiglione del Lago

“Ubu Roi” (1966)

 

The art exhibition is visible until the November 4th inside the rooms of the noble building designed by Vignola and Galeazzo Alessi, which is named after  the Marquis della Corgna. The exposition is curated by Andrea Pontalti, promoted by the municipality of Castiglione del Lago and organised by Sistema Museo and Lagodarte in collaboration with Aurora Group.

The vision of Mirò

The event gives the opportunity to discover this wonderful artist through seventy graphic works that are part of four complete sets. They were created during a period of ten years: from 1966 to 1976, in the artist’s maturity. Ubu Roi (1966) is composed of thirteen colourful lithographs, in which shapes and  volumes seem to move freely in the space. Furthermore,  Le Lézard aux Plumes d’Or (1971), Maravillas con variaciones acrósticas en el jardin de Miró (1975) might be admired in the spaces of the palaces: work arts characterized by black marks and vivid colours. Another remarkable work is Le Marteau sans maître (1976), a tribute to the poet René Chair, one of the most distinguished personalities of the twentieth-century French literature. These art works tell the artist’s poetic dream and its peculiarity, which consists of transforming the fantastical images into a personal language. These lithographs show the relationship between text and illustration that characterize that artistic phase: a book is something that has to be carved in the marble – in the artist’s opinion.

 

An immersion in colours

The use of colour and the very personal world of marks derives from the Mirò’s approach to the world of art: his curiosity, the capacity of renewing himself and of exploring different paths. The dark marks and the bright colours, from blue to yellow give life to personal dream visions. Visiting the exhibition means immersing yourself in the language of the extraordinary Catalan artist thanks to less known art works, but which offer an important glimpse of his expressive power.

 

“Le Lézard aux Plumes d’Or” (1971)

 


Palazzo della Corgna

Fifty years after Emma Dessau Goitein’s death, Perugia talks about a great woman. Emma lived the last years of her life in Perugia, in the city of Perugino and Pinturicchio, in the city that still preserves some of her works in the Museum of the Academy of Perugia, which is placed near a street entitled to her.

For the anniversary of his death, the Academy Pietro Vannucci and the Municipality of Perugia create an exhibition to present a rich selection of works from important public and private collections; the Academy holds ten works by Emma.

An artistic and biographic development

The exhibition develops in two paths: one at the Academy and the other at the Civic Museum of Palazzo della Penna, visible until September 9th. The exhibition curated by Fedora Boco, Maria Luisa Martella and Gabriella Steindler Moscati, embraces a very wide chronological range: from the late nineteenth-century formation to the last works of the 1940s, revealing the articulated artistic and biographical development of the author. Emma was born in Karlsruhe in 1877 from an observant Jewish family. Since she was a child she was conscious of her artistic vocation, in fact she attended courses dedicated only to men and she interested about politics. Emma was educated by her mother because her father died when she was a child; and her mother manages to reconcile respect for tradition with modernity. In 1901 she moved to Italy, first to Bologna and then to Perugia, for love of Bernardo Dessau.

 

Family photo

An exciting everyday life

The family is one of the main sources of inspiration for the painter, her favorite subjects are in fact her husband Bernardo, absorbed and concentrated, of her sons Fanny and Gabor, depicted in the various phases of their lives, as well as those of other family members like her beloved brother Ernst. Another subject widely represented by the artist is the landscape; in the landscapes Emma relies on the fresh impression plein air, she often paints the heights of Monteluce, where she lived and painted, and the places where she went on holiday.

Drawings and Xylographies

The graphic section instead is hosted at the Academy and includes drawings and xylographies that cross the entire artistic production of the author. The xylography is certainly the art in which Emma elaborates the religious and cultural world representing biblical subjects. «With this exhibition» highlighted the councilor for culture Severini «continues the cycle on the artists who animated Perugia with their art in the last century, witnesses of an artistic fervor that characterized it incisively. Emma produced paintings and engravings of a poignant intensity».

 

 

Self-portrait

Assisi, well-known as St. Francis’s homeland, as well as being considered a mystical land of saints and prayers, preserves and transmits the art of a typically feminine craft. It probably came from the canvases made and used by the Order of Clares in order to take care of their sister Clare, forced to infirmity.

The Assisi Stich, pic via

We are taking about the Assisi Stitch, a type of a geometric embroidery made by a simple technique, but with a very refined result. A typical monochromatic pattern is performed on linen cloth and, it is traditionally blue or rust brown (more rarely in green, yellow and red).

The dyes

Originally the canvases were woven by hand and the yarns were colored by natural dyeing. They made it so until the 19th century. At that time, there were a lot of dyeing plants which permit the main colors to be obtained: from the woad (Isatis tinctoria), for example, they obtained several shades of blue, from the vivid tones to a very pale one. Even from the humble origins of colors and raw materials used in the Assisi stitch speak of the vocation to the essentiality and poverty that strongly characterized the early Franciscans.

The technique

The Assisi stitch is a counted thread embroidery – twisted yarn n° 20 DMC – made on a natural linen cloth with a regular warp, which is called also Tela Assisi.
The embroidery is executed in three steps. First, the contours are traced with a filza stitch, using a black yarn or a darker one than the thread chosen for the fill; then the bottom of the tracing is filled with the yarn of the chosen color by cross-stitching. Finally the work is completed with the edges, executed in a square point. As a finishing touch, they used to embellish the corners of tablecloths or the cushions by applying three tassel made with the embroidery thread. They use a needle with a rounded point.

 

The Assisi stitch in History

There are testimonies of the presence of objects made in Assisi point already since 1300, as well as in the famous pictorial cycle made by Giotto in the Upper Basilica of San Francesco: in the Death of the Knight of Celano is depicted a tablecloth embroidered with the motifs of the Assisi stitch.
The early drawings (those that are now commonly referred to as work patterns) initially rather primitive become, from the 15th century, elegant and meticulous until they reach the great refinement of the 19th and 20th centuries. Frescos, portals, finely inlaid wooden choirs represent the greatest source of inspiration for the motifs to be embroidered on canvas. Each design has a precise name: the little queen is very famous, and represents winged animal figures.

The schools

The teaching of the embroidery technique – to which many young people approached because they wanted to create their own outfit for the future marriage, or to obtain a minimum of economic independence – took place inside the convents, while in the 20th century appeared the first schools such as the Scuola delle Figlie del Popolo at the San Francesco Laboratory, founded in 1902. Today, the San Francesco Laboratory is home to the Accademia Punto Assisi, an association that promotes and enhances this ancient art of embroidery. The latter, founded in 1998 on a ministerial project, occupies the historic premises of the first laboratory set up in the city. There are three fundamental words that animate the members: protecting, passing on and spreading. Traditional embroidery classes are organized for children and adults who want to approach this endangered art, providing opportunities for exchange, collaboration and socialization. The Academy also organizes themed events and competitions to promote embroidery at national and international level.

 


Sources: Tiziana Borsellini, president and founder of the Accademia Punto Assisi www.accademiapuntoassisi.com

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