THE TRIUMPH OF RENAISSANCE: THE IMPRESSIVE REGAL ROOM AND DUCAL ROOM / INSIDE THE VATICAN PALACES #3

© Roberto Alborghetti - Sala Regia and Sala Ducale (12)

Sala Regia (Regal Room) and Sala Ducale (Ducal Room) are two beautiful rooms in the Apostolic Palace in Vatican City. They aren’t generally open to visitors: they usually host consistories, conferences, papal hearings or special events. I recently had the opportunity to visit them (I was in Rome to meet Pope Francis for the presentation of “Francis”, the illustrated and historical biography I wrote about him). Here some news (from New Advent website) about Sala Regia and Sala Ducale. They well represent the triumph of Renaissance.  

The Sala Regia (Regal Room)

 Although not intended as such, this broad room is really an antechamber to the Sistine Chapel, reached by the Scala Regia (Royal Staircase). To the left of the entrance formerly stood the papal throne, which is now at the opposite side before the door leading to the Cappella Paolina. The hall was begun under Paul III by Antonio da Sangallo the Younger and was completed in 1573. The elegant barrel-vault is provided with the highly graceful and very impressive plaster decorations of Pierin del Vaga. The stucco ornaments over the doors are by Daniele da Volterra. The longitudinal walls are broken on the one side by two, and on the other by three, large doors, between which Giorgio Vasari and Taddeo Zuccaro have introduced very powerful frescoes, whose effect is more than ornamental. They depict momentous turning-points in the life of the Church, among others the return of Gregory XI from Avignon to Rome, the battle of Lepanto, the raising of the ban from Henry IV, and the reconciliation of Alexander III with Frederick Barbarossa. This hall served originally for the reception of princes and royal ambassadors. Today the consistories are held in it, and an occasional musical recital in the presence of the Pope; during a conclave it is a favourite promenade for the cardinals.

The Sala Ducale (Ducal Room)

The Sala Ducale lies between the Sala Regia and the Loggia of Giovanni da Udine. Formerly there were here two separate halls, which were converted into one by Bernini by the removal of the separating wall (the position of which is still clearly perceptible). The decorative paintings, which are of a purely ornamental nature, are by Raffaellino da Reggio, Sabbatini, and Matthæus Brill. In this impressive hall were formerly held the public consistories for the reception of ruling princes. It now serves occasionally for the reception of pilgrims, the consecration of bishops, when (as rarely happens) this is undertaken by the Pope, or is used for the accommodation of specified divisions of the papal household, when the pope holds a consistory in the Sala Regia, proceeds to the Sistine Chapel, or sets out with great solemnity for St. Peter’s.

(3 – To be continued)

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THE GENIUS OF LEONARDO DA VINCI DESIGNED IN 1502 THE STUNNING HARBOUR (PORTO CANALE) IN CESENATICO (ITALY)

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© Photos: ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI / TOURISM OFFICE, CESENATICO

 

Cesenatico is an historical resort city on the Riviera Adriatica (Forlì-Cesena Country, Italy). For its relaxing and elegant atmosphere it is called the “living room of Adriatic Sea”.  Here, the old fish market, still active, is within walking distance from the modern wholesale market. And the old sailing ships stand side by side with modern fishing boats. You may find them on the beautiful and ancient harbour designed by the genius of the great Leonardo Da Vinci.

The so called Porto Canale ( Port Channel) is the main axis of the old town. On the docks still takes place social life and it’s one of the visitors favorite sites. The Port, however, is also the main historical monument of the city, which follows the lines drawn by Leonardo da Vinci in 1502 when working for Cesare Borgia, one of the sons of Pope Alexander VI. Along the harbor, you may visit the beautiful Maritime Museum and the house belonged to Marino Moretti (one of the greatest Italian poets).

Along the Channel, there is a floating section of the Museum. Here incredible under sails old boats are on permanent show. Every boat exhibits different designs. It’s a spectacular scenary, to be seen also during the night time. In Piazza Pisacane you admire the monument dedicated to Giuseppe Garibaldi (who stayed in Cesenatico, with his wife Anita). In the large square Ciceruacchio there ‘re still on the ground the traces of an ancient tower that once guarded the port from the pirates attacks. Nearer the sea, close to the lighthouse, the massive doors now are defending the town from seastorms: it’s a modern technology project reproduced on the example of Leonardo ‘s intuitions.

The picturesque Piazzetta delle Conserve, located in the heart of the city, owes its name to the buildings excavated in the ground where was placed the fish mashed up with snow and ice. That it was an intelligent solution to preserve fish for a long time, before the invention of refrigerators.

 

www.cesenaticoturismo.com

info@cesenaticoturismo.com

Tel. 039 (0)547 673287 (Tourism Office)

SIENA (ITALY) / : VISITING “THE GATE OF HEAVEN” AND CARAVAGGIO MASTERPIECE: ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST, “THE DIVINE BEAUTY”

Caravaggio, San Giovanni Battista, St. John The Baptist

Photos: Courtesy of Opera Duomo, Siena – Press Office

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Guest Writer: Carmelina Rotundo

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 A gently sloping green landscape where olive trees enrich the sscenery, isolated hamlets: in the tangle of branches the buds and flowers in soft clusters along with leavesare reawakening. Here and there, the cypresses, some young, others ancient; the bare geometric vines delineate spaces to then leave room for a forest; the shining yellow; I love this interplay of intertwining branches;more cypress trees in corona, others solitary in the foreground next to glimpses of churches.
How the vineyards climb, and even more bunches of small yellow small flowers glow. Now the landscape is dotted with buildings, factories, now crowded with houses, steeples; the big glass building of Montepaschi Siena stands out.
It is beautiful, this letting go into the weight of a Firenze-Siena journey, united towards the goal: Caravaggio, the painter of the brush of light, that artist that remained in my vision, in my heart when, in the Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo in Rome, unforgettable, the conversion of Saint Paul appeared to me: a moment of light in time and space; the conversion had so touched Caravaggio.
I continue the climb, up, up to the “Gate of Heaven” where one gaze embraces little Siena from the North, South, East and West, and the tiles as they let themselves be caressed by the Sun; each ray today made luminous the Torre del Mangia; the only one so close to heaven, celestial blue now, the gaze now flies across rooftops of Siena Convent of San Domenico, the Apuan Alps. I cannot be still and I move on the terraces and into the attics that conserve old machines, tools that, used by the hands of skilled stonemasons, managed to obtain miracles from matter.
The gaze returns to inside the Cathedral; the stained glass windows arelight and color;  the arches, marble columns are elegance; statues I now face, at the same height, and from the rooftops, with the gaze and heart that flies from roofs, in the sky we descend into the cave of the heart of the Duomo di Siena, in the crypt where, in silence and in meditation, he appears to me, by Caravaggio: St. John the Baptist.
That brush of light once again sculpts the form: idea-imagination-creation of a work of art that, launched into time, has been enriched by the looks of the citizens of the world who have admired it, always discovering something new and old, strong and sweet, and that light that was caressing therooftops of Siena. Caravaggio imprisoned and “carved” it into his St. John the Baptist.

http://www.operaduomo.siena.it/

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SIENA CATHEDRAL, APRIL17-AUGUST 18, 2013 

Caravaggio (Michelangelo Merisi, Milano 1571 – Porto Ercole 1610)

San Giovanni Battista, 1602-1603,olio su tela, cm 129 x 95

Roma, Pinacoteca Capitolina.

 

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Le immagini sono state fornite  dagli Organizzatori dell’evento, ad esclusivo utilizzo collegato alle esigenze di Ufficio Stampa dell’iniziativa medesima. La possibilità di utilizzare questa immagine è riservata unicamente al fine di corredare con la stessa servizi, articoli, segnalazioni inerenti la mostra cui si riferiscono. Qualunque diverso utilizzo è perseguibile ai sensi di Legge ad iniziativa di ogni avente diritto.

 

 

(HE)ART PLACES / BILBAO (BASQUE COUNTRY, SPAIN): THE SPECTACULAR GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM (AND AN UNFORGETTABLE CY TWOMBLY’S EXHIBITION)

In Bilbao (Basque Country, Spain) I visited the incredible Guggenheim Museum, where I saw stunning art installations and masterpieces (unfortunately, the Jeff Koon’s Puppy was packed up for restoration). It’s all the whole building to fascinate in its unmistakable style. The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao has become the cultural and tourism driving force of the Basque Country. This spectacular building – designed by Frank O. Gehry, 1997 – is covered in titanium panels and has its own important collection, as well as sharing the largest private modern and contemporary art collection in the world with New York and Venice.

I saw there (January 2009) an unforgettable exhibition: the tribute to american artist Cy Twombly, who died in Rome in 2011. Organized in the occasion of the 80 years of the artist, the Cy Twombly exhibition featured focused groups of related paintings, drawings and sculpture, multipark works, and works in series, highlighting the artist’s use of themes of classical art. The Guggenheim Bilbao magazine dedicated its cover to Cy Twombly’s masterpiece “Wilder Shores of Love” (1985).

The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, at that time, had just acquired the series “Nine Discourses on Commodus” (1963), the work around which the exhibition was designed. It consisted in nine distinct canvases and was the first of the artist’s series to be conceived as a unified whole. That beautiful and unforgettable exhibition featured Twombly’s work in series, including the earlier five-canvases “Ferragosto” (1961) which can be viewed as individual paintings. Other important series included in the exhibition were “Hero and Leandro” (1984) and “Quattro Stagioni” (1993-94).

Cy Twombly ‘s artworks offered a closer look at the spirit of a marvelous artist who “not only irradiates a fascinating personal magic, but has also taken us to the most intricate frontiers of contemporary painting”. I had the permission – as a reporter – to take a few pictures, that I have the pleasure to share in the photo-gallery.

Always in Bilbao I visited the Fine Arts Museum which is one of the best in Spain and has a complete and priceless art gallery with three collections: old art (El Greco, Zurbarán, Goya or Van Dyck), contemporary art (Gauguin, Bacon or Tàpies) and Basque art (Regoyos, Zuloaga or Iturrino).

The Basque Museum includes Basque prehistory and archaeology; the Diocesan Museum of Religious Art and the Easter Pasos Museum hold religious works connected with Bizkaia. Other museums in Bilbao are the Maritime Museum and the Bullfighting Museum. The Rekalde exhibition hall holds top class contemporary art exhibitions. There are also about twenty other galleries with permanent  plastic art exhibitions.

ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI 

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OVER A THOUSAND STUDENTS RUN AT THE TUSCANY CASTLE VISITING ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI SHOW / THE “REVOLUTIONARY CHOICE” TO BRING ART TO YOUNG PEOPLE

by Marco Rossi

Over a thousand students from various regions of Italy have recently visited “Colors of an Apocalypse / The Decomposed Publicity Posters”, the Roberto Alborghetti exhibition going on at the impressive Aldobrandesca Fortress in Piancastagnaio, Tuscany (Italy). This extraordinary young people flow coincided with the final events of the XIV edition of “Penne e Video Sconosciuti” (Unknown Pens and Videos) a national Festival promoted by Osa Onlus and the City of Piancastagnaio (Siena). Several school delegations, from primary to high school, had the pleasure of being accompanied on a visit personally by Roberto Alborghetti, who illustrated and described aspects, contexts and realities of his artistic research.

It was a truly amazing experience which brought students into the language of a particular artistic expression. As someone pointed out, it really was a revolutionary choice to see an artist dialoguing and opening his world to the new generations. Was it also an attempt to break rules and taboos which sometimes condemn art in the usual circle of insiders? Yes, Roberto Alborghetti swam against the current, with incredible results: how many other italian art shows recorded in a few days such a high influx of young people? 

Over a thousand students entered through the halls of the impressive XIII Century Tuscany castle, touching with hand – in the true sense of the term – canvases, colors and materials. This is also an unusual way to know and living the language of art, without filters, barriers and conditionings.  

“Colors of an Apocalypse / The Decomposed Publicity  Posters” exhib presents forty artworks (paintings, lithographs, collages and three special limited-edition silk scarves) created by Roberto Alborghetti with the intriguing and fascinating language of his “Lacer/actions Project”. It’s an astonishing research which explores the surprising  world of natural signs, shapes and colors left on the walls along the streets. Students who went up to Aldobrandesca Fortress, in Tuscany, are really left open-mouthed in front of the novelty of this research, in which completely random colors, signs and forms are the key to experience emotions and  feelings.

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“Colors of an Apocalypse

The Decomposed Publicity Posters”

Roberto Alborghetti Show

Aldobrandesca Fortess

Piancastagnaio, Siena, Tuscany  

Opening Time: 10 to 12.30 am/ 17 to 19.30 pm on Saturdays, Sundays and all public holidays.

For information and visits by appointment:

Tel +39 0577/784134

e-mail: info@prolocopiancastagnaio.it

“PILGRIMAGE” EXHIBITION: DISCOVERING THE SLOW TRAVEL AT MUSEUM DER KULTUREN IN BASEL (SWITZERLAND)

 

The Museum der Kulturen in Basel (Switzerland) opened its “Pilgrimage” exhibition (September 14 – March 3, 2013) dedicated to the rediscovery of slow travel. People began wandering many centuries ago in search of inner peace, truth and contemplation. The reasons why people should embark on such gruelling endeavours are many and varied, and it seems that religion is not necessarily the prime motive. What all pilgrims have in common, however, is related to a search, in the widest sense of the term.

The fact that journeyers often report a sense of revitalization led Europe curator Dominik Wunderlin to devote an exhibition to the subject: “The subject of pilgrimage is inevitably bound up with the Way of St. James. There are many other paths which lead to a holy place. The exhibition shows that Europe is also interlaced with pilgrimage routes, representing an awe-inspiring heritage. We need to treasure them”, says Wunderlin.

Many roads lead to Rome. The exhibition is not exclusively devoted to the Way of St. James. A starting point is Jerusalem in the Holy Land, which is Europe’s earliest sacred destination. Visitors experience what pilgrims from the Middle Ages would have gone through and their motivation for doing so. At the same, time they see what a modern-day journey involves and what inspires people today to take such a step. The various displays illuminate subjects such as preparation and departure, pilgrim saints, customs, symbols, destinations, arts and crafts and the trades that benefit from pilgrimage, etc. The focal point will be exhibits from the last few centuries, which lure the visitor into a world of beliefs that today appears alien and curious. The exhibition takes an impressive look at the cultural and historical background giving rise to the current resurgence in interest in modern-day pilgrimages. The exhibition continues through March 3, 2013.

MUSEUM DER KULTUREN IN BASEL

“OUT OF BRITAIN” EXHIBITION: FOR THE FIRST TIME IN KUWAIT 52 ARTWORKS BY BRITISH ARTISTS

A private view opened yesterday (September 17, 2012) in Kuwait “Out of Britain” exhibition showing artworks from the British Council collection (organization: The British Council, Contemporary Art Platform and the National Council for Culture Arts and Letters). The show continues through October 25th bringing together, for the first time in Kuwait, 52 key-artworks selected from the British Council Collection. Spanning a period of almost one hundred years of creativity by significant British artists, the works on display take as a common theme the landscapes of the British Isles.

Structured around an imagined journey the display begins in the city and lead out into the countryside to follow the coastline before ultimately returning to an urban landscape. The works in the show illustrate individual artist’s attempts to find their place amongst an ever-changing environment where they are often driven to challenge traditional ways of interpreting and framing the landscape.

In parallel to the “Out of Britain” the British Council in collaboration with CAP Kuwait, will host “Landscapes Expanded”, a programme of events and lectures that will explore the themes of landscape in different art forms. David Rayson, featured artist in “Out of Britain”, will be the first to present a lecture about his work ( September 18, 7pm, The Museum of Modern Art, Kuwait). Rayson’s work relates directly to the visual potential of the everyday, enabling the ordinary to be realised as fantastic. David Rayson was appointed professor and head of Painting at the Royal College of Art in 2006. He is a practising artist, tutor and curator and his work has been exhibited widely in the UK and internationally. His work is included in major collections including the Tate, Whitechapel Art Gallery, British Council, Deutsche Bank, Rubell Family Collection and Contemporary Art Society.

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http://visualarts.britishcouncil.org/whats-on/exhibition/11/15945

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 Photo: David Rayson, from Ashmore Park to Wednesfield : “The Jet Bench”