SIGNS,SCRATCHES AND GRAFFITI FROM THE WALLS IN ROME #2

© Roberto Alborghetti – Lacer/actions

© Roberto Alborghetti – Lacer/actions

Some more signs, scratches and graffiti from the walls in Rome…  As I usually like to say, they’re not paintings, or digitally made compositions. They’re abstract and macro photos I usually take while I’m walking along the streets: I  collected so far more than 100.000 images. I’m always amazed how the reality goes beyond every imagination…
“LaceR/Actions” is a multidisciplinary project and research about the apparent chaos of ripped and decomposed publicity posters, natural cracks, crevices, scratches and urban and industrial signs and tokens. Transferred on canvases, reproduced on lithographic prints or textiles, re-built on collages or scanned in videoclips, the images of torn and disfigured posters and natural cracks and scratches give new meanings and expressions to paper lacerations and matters decomposition.

© Roberto Alborghetti – Lacer/actions

© Roberto Alborghetti – Lacer/actions

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ROME: THE OFFICIAL PRESENTATION OF MY NEW BOOK IN THIS WONDERFUL BAROQUE BASILICA

 

roberto-alborghetti-photos-8

© Roberto Alborghetti Photos

© Roberto Alborghetti Photos

In this beautiful basilica in the very heart of Rome will be held next Friday, January 13, 2017 (6 pm) the official launch of my new book, published by Velar, entitled “Come Chicchi in Una Spiga di Grano” (it’s my fourth book about Pope Francis). The basilica is dedicated to Sant’Andrea della Valle and it is officiated by the Teatini Fathers founded by San Gaetano Thiene. With me will be: Father Salvador Rodea González, General Superior of Theatines and Father Carlos Gomez-Ruiz, Rector of the Basilica of Sant’Andrea della Valle. Paolo Sandini and Anna Scaglione ( Velar Publishing) will take care of the informations and sales service.

When visitors step into this soaring Baroque church, many of them are struck by the light; the whole interior seems to glow a magical greenish-gold. Others are stunned by the height of the dome, which in Rome is second only to St. Peter’s. Still others are drawn in by the large frescoes in the apse, particularly the crucifixion of St. Andrew (painted by Mattia Preti).

Sant’Andrea della Valle dates back to 1650 and is the burial site of two popes, Pius II and Pius III. Another distinction: it’s the setting of the opening act of Puccini’s opera “Tosca.” The church is just a few blocks from the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Campo de’ Fiori and the palaces of Italian Government and Parliament (it is located at the intersection of Corso Vittorio Emanuele II and Corso Rinascimento, in Piazza Vidoni 6).

 

AND LOOK AT THE LONELY ANGEL…

The angel of Sant’Andrea della Valle church, realized by the architect Carlo Rainaldi in the years 1655 to 1665, fulfilling the designs of Carlo Maderno, is a special case of Rome’s lonely angel. Looking at the Baroque facade of the church,  one notices an angel suspended on the left cornice. While on the opposite side to the right, there is an empty space, proving to be quite asymmetric. The angel’s sculptor seems to be Ercole Ferrata, also the author of some statues of saints on the façade, (although it must be said that other scholars attribute it to Fancelli). The angel is carved into a particular pose, with one wing stretched up that seems to lean (some say support) the wall, and the other wing kept behind his back, as if he were injured or suffered from human frailty. Some believe that the statue is an allegory of the winged goddess of Fame. It would seem that even Pope Alexander VII did not like that angel and denied funding for the completion of the non-existent second one.

 

 

 

ROME: THREE MASTERPIECES BY CARAVAGGIO IN ONE SHOT (CHURCH OF ST. LOUIS OF THE FRENCH)

roberto-alborghetti-photos-2

© Roberto Alborghetti Photos

In Rome, not far from the famous Piazza Navona, we can admire the Church of St. Louis of the French (San Luigi dei Francesi) dedicated to the Virgin Mary, to St. Denis the Areopagite and St. Louis IX, king of France. The church was designed by Giacomo della Porta and built by Domenico Fontana between 1518 and 1589, and completed through the personal intervention of Catherine de’ Medici. It is the national church in Rome of France (it was chosen as the burial place for a number of higher prelates and members of the French community of Rome).

Italian artist Domenichino painted here one of his masterworks, the frescoes portraying the Histories of Saint Cecilia. Other artists worked here (as Cavalier D’Arpino, Francesco Bassano il Giovane, Giovanni Baglione, Jacopino del Conte, Tibaldi and Antoine Derizet).

But the church’s most famous treasure is the cycle of paintings in the Contarelli Chapel, painted by Caravaggio (Michelangelo Merisi) in 1599–1600 about the life of St. Matthew. This includes the three world-renowned canvases of The Calling of St Matthew (on the left wall), The Inspiration of Saint Matthew (above the altar), and The Martyrdom of Saint Matthew (on the right wall). So, we have the extraordinary way to see great masterpieces by Caravaggio in one shot.

They are three of the greatest and most influential paintings ever produced in Italy, representing the ambivalence of Caravaggio paintings, which, though covering famous religious subjects, reveal a dramatic content (decapitations, crucifixions, depositions from the cross, etc) reflecting the situations of the real life. Caravaggio often used his friends as models, including prostitutes, card sharps, and other folks. One early travel guide to Rome says of him: “He painted chiefly plebian types”.

What is true is that Caravaggio’s three paintings in the Contarelli Chapel changed the way that people looked at painting and influenced countless artists who followed. The artist Cavalier D’Arpino received a commission to decorate the chapel for the French Cardinal Matteu Contreil (in Italian, Matteo Contarelli). Caravaggio was working as an apprentice for D’Arpino at the time, and when D’Arpino became too busy to complete the decoration, Caravaggio’s patron, Cardinal Francesco del Monte, helped attain the commission for the artist.

Contarelli’s will stated that the chapel contain works depicting the life of St. Matthew, Contarelli’s namesake (Matteo is the Italian form of Matthew). The will was quite specific as to what should be painted – Saint Mathew’s calling by Jesus; his divine inspiration to write his gospel; and his martyrdom. Caravaggio had never worked on such large canvasses before, and X-rays reveal he reworked the paintings a number of times.

These three paintings, Caravaggio’s first major church commission, cemented his reputation, and he continued to work constantly until his death in 1610 at the age of 38.

 

 

 

ROME: WHEN ADVERTISING DESTROYS THE BEAUTY OF A PANORAMA…

© Roberto Alborghetti Photos

Okay, we agree. We live in the world of advertising and smartphones (which day by day are unnecessarily more powerful). But it is not the most aesthetically pleasing the large billboard (about a smartphone) that in Rome is obscuring the focal point of St. Peter’s Basilica from Umberto Primo Bridge, along Tevere River. But have the City and the Mayor of Rome noticed it? Apparently not … So we list it in the avoidable ugliness album.

*

Ok, siamo d’accordo. Viviamo nel mondo della pubblicità e degli smartphones (che di giorno in giorno sono inutilmente sempre più potenti). Ma non è il massimo dell’estetica  il grande cartellone (su un nuovo smartphone) che a Roma sta oscurando il punto focale della Basilica di San Pietro da Ponte Umberto Primo, lungo il Tevere. Ma il Comune e il Sindaco di Roma lo hanno notato? Pare di no … Così lo elenchiamo nell’album delle brutture evitabili… Speriamo se ne accorgano…

 

 

WATCH THE VIDEO: ROME UNDER THE MOON (AND STARS): A NIGHT IN BLACK ‘N’ WHITE

PHOTOS AND VIDEOCLIP BY ROBERTO ALBORGHETTI

Foro Romano, 2016, by Roberto Alborghetti

Foro Romano, 2016, by Roberto Alborghetti

ROME: THE NIGHT, THE LIGHTS AND THE MAGIC OF FONTANA DI TREVI (AFTER RESTORATION)

© Roberto Alborghetti Photos

The best way to admire the fabulous Fontana di Trevi, after the restoration, is the nightime…  The play of light and shade, the distance from the noises of the big city, the sounds of the waterfalls… Nothing else. But that is the magic of Rome.

SPECIAL PREVIEW FROM ROME: AMAZING NEW LED LIGHTS FOR THE ANCIENT FORUM…WELCOME TO THE GREAT SHOW OF THE HISTORY!

Foro Romano, 2016, by Roberto Alborghetti (2)

© Roberto Alborghetti

Foro Romano, 2016, by Roberto Alborghetti (3)

© Roberto Alborghetti

Foro Romano, 2016, by Roberto Alborghetti (4)

© Roberto Alborghetti

Foro Romano, 2016, by Roberto Alborghetti (5)

© Roberto Alborghetti

Foro Romano, 2016, by Roberto Alborghetti (6)

© Roberto Alborghetti

Foro Romano, 2016, by Roberto Alborghetti (7)

© Roberto Alborghetti

Foro Romano, 2016, by Roberto Alborghetti (8)

© Roberto Alborghetti

Foro Romano, 2016, by Roberto Alborghetti (9)

© Roberto Alborghetti

PHOTOS: © Roberto Alborghetti

Last night in Rome I had the wonderful chance to admire a special preview of a great show: the new LED lights system  for the ancient Forum area, as shown in this photo-gallery. But there is also a great new: every Friday night, from tomorrow April 22 to end of October, the Roman Forum opens to the public. The monuments and the ruins will be illuminated thanks to the new system provided by Acea and so they will be accessible in summer through guided tours. “The moon at the Forum” is  the title of the project added to the already existing “The moon at the Colosseum”, as part of initiatives for the founding of Rome. The visits  (from 8 pm to  midnight, groups of maximum 25 participants) provide a 75-minutes picturesque journey along the Via Sacra, the Via Nova, the Arch of Septimius Severus and to the monuments of ancient Rome.