Arlecchino Newsletter

Vol. 3 Issue n. 14
September 01, 2001

~~~      A free bi-weekly newsletter of 285 subscribers
~~~      on the discussion of topics related to
~~~      the made-in-Italy products, to the Italian way of life
~~~      and more generally to the Italian style.
~~~      supported by Studiosoft at
~~~      Marco Piazzalunga, Publisher
~~~      Vol. 3, issue #14, September 01, 2001

                    IN THIS ISSUE

New Topics on Fine Arts in Italy/Europe (2)

1) Renaissance in Rome
     by Enit

2) Naples aims for museum crowds in 2001
     by Marco Piazzalunga

New Topics on Italian style (2)

1) An Italian architect in the UN
     by Wayin

2) Ferrari: the lady in red
     by Fausto Cardinetti

New Topics on Italian handicraft works of art (2)

1) The terracotta’s art in Tuscany: Impruneta
     by CeramicOnline

2) VicenzaOro 2 Fair
     by Manuela Cardinetti

New Topics on Italian/European antiques & collectibles (2)

1) Quimper pottery
     by Adela Meadows

2) Storage and Handling of Ivory
     by Megan Springate

-----====(* FINE ARTS IN ITALY & EUROPE *)====-----

Subject: Renaissance in Rome

ROME Italy, August 9, 2001 - The most important masterpieces from the most significant period of artistic creativity in Italy will be brought together in the exhibit on Renaissance art in Italy at the Scuderie Papali gallery at Rome's Quirinale palace.
The exhibit, 'Il Rinascimento in Italia: la Civilta' nelle Corti e Nelle Citta', will open in Rome in early September and run through January 2002. It will include 160 works from 60 Italian museum.
Key developments during the period will be highlighted by the works of Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese, Luca Della Robbia and Piero della Francesca, among others. The display will highlight certain geographical areas that played key roles, like Urbino, Florence and the Veneto area and also trace the development and maturity of Renaissance art, beginning with the use of perspective in the 1400's by such masters as Brunelleschi, Masaccio and Donatello.
The exhibit has been drawing crowds in Tokyo, where 600,000 visitors have seen the works and purchased 60,000 catalogs.



Subject: Naples aims for museum crowds in 2001

ROME Italy, August 17, 2001 - The Capodimonte Museum, Villa Floridiana and the San Martino Museum are central to a plan to put Naples' great museums back in the cultural spotlight.
The museums already house extraordinary permanent collections, but overall, they are not well known by the public. Culture Minister Vittorio Sgarbi wants to create a management committee that would promote their collections while the local governments focus on spiffing up city facilities to prepare for larger crowds by next year.
Capodimonte has a major collection of Bourbon art, whose display was recently reworked in a 70-billion lire project. San Martino has an extensive collection of paintings, sculptures and elaborate creches, while the Museo Duca di Martina boasts of an impressive collection of porcelain and other ceramics.

Marco Piazzalunga

-------=======(* ITALIAN STYLE *)=======-------

Subject: An Italian architect in the UN

MILAN Italy, August 28, 2001 - An Italian architect, Renato Sarno, and his studio will lead the team of professionals that was been commissioned to design the renovation of the UN Headquarters in New York.
The announcement was given by the United Nations. The Milanese architecture study, beating 37 competitors of 10 different countries, has obtained a contract worth 6,3 million dollars.
According to what the UN has declared, this is just the beginning. Wide refurbishing and extension works are planned for the United Nations Building. The plan anticipates six years of works and is worth an overall 96,4 million dollars.
Before starting, the project will have to obtain approval by the 189 countries that are part of the UN’s General Assembly.
The great building complex facing the East River, was built at the end of the Second World War and architects arriving from 11 nations carried out the project.
The famous Glass Building and the Assembly hall, where the offices of the secretary and the Security Council are housed, were completed in 1952.



Subject: Ferrari: the lady in red

BOLOGNA Italy, August 25, 2001 - We cannot speak of the Ferrari, an Italian legend that has become a symbol in the whole world, without feeling a little awe. A legend whose history is tied into the name of a man - Enzo Ferrari - to his passion for engines and for his sports competitions. Enzo Ferrari was born in Modena the 18th of February 1898. In 1919 he started as a pilot in the Parma-Berceto. In 1920 he becomes a technical collaborator of Alfa Romeo. He is a tester, a pilot, trade collaborator and finally manager of the Alfa-Races department.
The Società Anonima Scuderia Ferrari Modena was founded on the 16th November of 1929 in Bologna; among members there are Augusto and Alfredo Caniato, Mario Tadini, Ferruccio Testa and Enzo Ferrari. Enzo at this point is Regional Representative for Alfa Romeo.
From 1934 he starts to manage the Alfa Romeo department for GP, after the withdrawal of the parent company. His cars are distinguished by a shield in a yellow background with the Italian tricolour on top and a rampant horse, a symbol of Francesco Baracca and presented to Ferrari in 1923 by the aviator's mother.
At the end of the 30's he leaves Alfa Romeo altogether; Ferrari wants to become a constructor, but because of a clause in his contract that prevents him for the next 5 years to make cars which bear his name, he calls the first car Auto Avio Costruzioni 815.
In 1947 the first 125S Sport is launched, which conquers the first victory of the constructor in Rome the 25th of May of the same year; the following year he debuts the 5th of September in Turin in the Italian GP, the first F.1 from Maranello.
There is no championship or prestigious race where a Ferrari hasn't raced: F.1, F.2, Mountain European, World Marche, Le Mans, Daytona, Sebring, Mille Miglia, Targa Florio, Giro di Sicilia, IMSA, Carrera Panamericana. Whereas all other constructors have arrived, dominated and then withdrawn satisfied, the Maranello car has always been active, for every season since 1930.
In 1969 FIAT acquires the Ferrari stable. After the triumph of the 1972 season in the World Marche and the terrible results in F.1, the "Drake" decided to concentrate all his energies on the GP's, leaving in any case a possibility to privates who wanted to take their cars on to the race.

Fausto Cardinetti

------=====(* ITALIAN HANDICRAFT WORKS OF ART *)=====------

Subject: The terracotta’s art in Tuscany: Impruneta

FLORENCE Italy, August 17, 2001 - The fragility and the perishebility of terracotta, with the small value don’t tickle the conservation, this is the reason because there are little surviving materials. The earthernware of 300 and 400 was lost; was kept a big number of pitchers of that period; this is caused by the improper use. This was used on the filling of architecture vault. A big number of this pitchers was recently found; sometimes they were used as containers, sometimes they were destined to architecture for imperfection of production.
The manifactures of Impruneta’s area broughts, until Renaissance, the terracotta’s manufacturing to an high quality; so the commercial relationship with Florence became more intense. All this happen because of the clay’s quality, very strong, the art of artisans, and the town’s placement located in the way between Florence and Arezzo, way that linked up the most important commercial centers. A document of 1308 tells us that in the area of S. Maria Impruneta was done a corporation of "terracotta’s teachers" pitchers.
Terracotta’s art achieved the best results in renassance period; vases, little colums, trophys, armorial bearings became always more used in equipement of gardens and villas. Then there are a lot of Maria’s devotional tabernacles located in way’s crossing; their manifacture was one of the best artistic activity of Impruneta’ s teachers.



Subject: VicenzaOro 2 Fair

VICENZA Italy, August 2, 2001 - Multiplicities, contrasts and combinations for jewelry, which even in its simplest and most obvious forms is colourful, festive and sparkling. At Vicenzaoro2, the event that just ended at the Vicenza Fair, the desire to drown the global economic worries in a sea of precious stones and yellow gold was extremely prominent: a clear and joyful response by the manufacturers to the consumer’s craving for luxury. The need to keep prices down has also stimulated research into new techniques and solutions for reducing the use of the precious raw material while increasing its volume effect. This is a challenge that some brands have taken up and won with particular creativity.
From the point of view of numbers, Vicenzaoro2 of 2001 has held firm with figures that are not thrilling but undoubtedly positive for the current gold and jewelry scenario. Over 16,000 trade visitors, with 27% more foreigners from 108 countries is not bad considering falling foreign markets and the more or less stagnant domestic one. «Our basic task» - comments the secretary general of the fair, Andrea Turcato - «is to let the demand meet the supply, and in this sense we’ve achieved our goal. The turnover achieved during the six days of the event has been less brilliant than the previous year, but this is due to the general slowdown in the world’s economy, and especially in the US, during the first quarter».  

Manuela Cardinetti


Subject: Quimper pottery

LONDON, August 22, 2001 - Quimper (pronounced kem-pair), located in northwestern France in the province of Brittany, has been a pottery town since the days when the area was part of the Roman Empire. Eventually settled by Celts from what is now Wales, Brittany did not officially become part of France until 1532, relatively late by European standards, and thus, it has retained its Celtic heritage. Today, the town has become virtually synonymous with its pottery.
The current history of Quimper pottery begins in 1690 with the arrival of Jean-Baptiste Bousquet. Originally from the environs of Marseille in southern France, Bousquet started his factory in the section of Quimper known as Loc-Maria. He specialized in the production of utilitarian pottery such as tablewares and clay pipes for smoking tobacco.
Situated in close proximity to four rivers, Quimper was an ideal place to be a potter. (The town's name is derived from the Gaelic "kemper," meaning a confluence of rivers). The riverbanks provided clay as well as a mode of transportation for the finished product, abundant nearby forests meant plenty of fuel for the kilns, and at that time the closest potteries were days away in the towns of Nantes and Rennes.
By 1708, Jean-Baptiste's son, Pierre Bousquet, took over the firm, moved it to a new imposing location, and expanded operations. In addition to stoneware, known as grès in French, the factory made eight different types of tobacco pipes as well as decorative wares, including faience.
It was a great time to be a faience maker in France. With the country's treasury reserves depleted due to the cost of the on-going wars and the extraordinary lavishness of his Court, Louis XIV sought to fill his coffers in every imaginable manner. Knowing that the elite of France ate and drank from plates and vessels crafted of silver and gold, the King issued orders calling for the confiscation of all such precious metal goods.
Lesser folk, accustomed to using wood or pewter tablewares, were not affected, but the rich, their dishes suddenly seized, sought to replenish their shelves and sideboards. Porcelain, made only in far-off China, could not be quickly obtained by French noblemen, who were soon clamoring for faience as a more immediate replacement.
Faienceries (factories that make faience), began to spring up all over France. With the enormous amount of fuel that was necessary to operate the kilns, it wasn't long before the French government began to intervene. Concerned that forests were being depleted, restrictions were implemented and, in some areas, pottery activities were curtailed.

Adela Meadows


Subject: Storage and Handling of Ivory

PHILADELPHIA, August 11, 2001 - Ivory is very sensitive to heat and light, as well as to moisture. When examining ivory, beware of heat from lamps, photo lights, and even your hands, especially if the ivory is thin (i.e. a veneer, or piano key). Ivory must be kept away from direct sun, heat, external walls (because of the danger of moisture condensation), cold windows, and any other source of moisture (i.e. the basement, or attic). This extreme sensitivity of ivory to changing relative humidity should be taken into consideration when it is being transported -- i.e. sudden changes from a dry climate to a humid climate, or transportation by air where there are sudden temperature changes.
If ivory is kept in an environment where the relative humidity is 70% plus, you can get mold and mildew damage, including black spots and etching of the surfaces.
Ivory yellows with age, and when kept in the dark (this is why the bottom of an ivory object is often darker than the surfaces exposed to light). Ivory will also turn yellow/orange when exposed to sulphur, and must therefore not be stored with keratin-based objects such as tortoiseshell (keratin contains sulphur). Also, watch out for sulpher in adhesives, building materials, rubber, paints, etc. An activated charcoal scavenger may be helpful (sew a small bag out of unbleached cotton. Fill with the activated charcoal sold for fish tank filters, and sew closed. The activated charcoal absorbs sulphur and other impurities).
For storage, ivory should be wrapped in acid-free tissue or cotton, and stored in a polyethylene bag (i.e. a Ziplock) or a closed container (i.e. Tupperware). If necessary, enclose an activated charcoal bag. By storing ivory in these closed containers, changes in relative humidity will be moderated. Make sure that any display or storage materials are colourfast! Ivory is porous, and easily picks up colour, salts, and oils (i.e. from our hands -- cotton gloves are recommended when handling ivory); metal corrosion can also stain ivory.
Note that ivory becomes more brittle with age, and should be handled with care.

Megan Springate

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