Issue n. 01
March 15, 2002
~~~ ARLECCHINO NEWSLETTER
~~~ A free bi-weekly newsletter of 302 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 http://www.studiosoft.it
~~~ Marco Piazzalunga, Publisher
~~~ Vol. 4, issue #01, March 15, 2002
I must apologize with you for having abruptly stopped all issues of this newsletter since
September 15, 2001. Unfortunately, the dramatic events of September 11th, 2001 weighed
heavily also on the author's willingness to provide articles and news, hence it became
almost impossible to sustain the burden just myself and with a few close friends.
Fortunately things are changing, a new interest in the things of the world is in the air
and the will to start again is spreading almost everywhere.
Me too, as your publisher, I wish to urge on you to send your contribution to this
Hence, please send me articles, passages taken from other publications and whatever useful
piece of news and information concerning the made-in-Italy style, Italy and Italians in
general. I will be glad to publish all of your contributions.
Thank you in advance and... enjoy your reading.
Your tireless moderator,
IN THIS ISSUE
New Topics on Fine Arts in Italy/Europe (2)
1) The Futurism in Milan. The new Modern and Contemporary Art Museum
2) Neoclassicism in Italy at Palazzo Reale in Milan
New Topics on Italian style (2)
1) Sanremo festival: Matia Bazar win
2) The Italian tradition of "Carnevale"
New Topics on Italian handicraft works of art (2)
1) Ferruccio Mengaroni at the Pesaro Ceramics Museum
2) Diamonds in Rome's Scuderie Quirinale
by Manuela Cardinetti
New Topics on Italian/European antiques & collectibles (2)
1) Milan goes by the book as the XIII Mostra del Libro Antico
by Fondazione Biblioteca di via Senato
2) Masterpieces of Magna Grecia in Trieste
-----====(* FINE ARTS IN ITALY & EUROPE *)====-----
Subject: The Futurism in Milan. The new Modern and Contemporary Art Museum
MILAN Italy, March 02, 2002 - PAC, the Pavilion of Contemporary Art of Milan, opens the
program of 2002 exhibitions with an exhibition entitled "Futurism in Milan. A Preview
of the new Modern and Contemporary Art Museum" by the Management of the Civic Art
Collections. The exhibition consists of 75 works of art by several futuristic painters
among whom Boccioni, Carrà, Russolo, Balla, Severini only to cite a few of those who
signed the "Manifesto dei pittori futuristi" on 11 February 1910 and about 40
drawings by Boccioni and Balla owned by the Civic Collections of Milan. The works of art
presented at PAC exhibition are owned by Milan Civic Collections which have gathered them
through donations, bequeaths and acquisitions since the origin of the futurist movement.
The main donation of the futurist collection was made by Ausonio Canavese who, in 1934,
transferred in favour of Milan City Council an exceptional number of works of art by
Boccioni consisting of 14 paintings, 47 drawings and by the plaster model of the sculpture
"Sviluppo di una bottiglia nello spazio", together with works by Balla, Dal
Monte, Depero, Dottori, Funi, Oriani and Notte. The latest acquisitions in chronological
order by the Civic Art Collections were in 1999 the etching "Lago con Cigni" and
the pastel "Ritratto di Innocenzo Massimino" both by Boccioni. The management of
the Civic Art Collections presents its futurist masterpieces, preserved for almost one
hundred years, to the city where the movement originated, "the great traditional and
futurist Milan" to quote Marinetti, the city that interpreted and was in turn
interpreted by the revolutionary movement that, at the threshold of the last century,
changed the Italian artistic scenario. The futurist nucleus consists of masterpieces
representing the ideal key to interpret the twentieth century starting from the works of
its early avant-garde, an interpretation which will eventually lead to the creation of the
museum dedicated to the twentieth century collections at Arengario in the centrally
located Duomo Square. Milan City Council is also going to present the project of the new
museum that is to be achieved by 2005 displaying drawings and models according to Italo
Rota's plan. The new museum will welcome the visitor with the great painting by Pellizza
da Volpedo "Il quarto stato" of 1901 which bears witness of the Italian
Divisionism that taught futurists the very first vocabulary to elaborate their revolution.
Subject: Neoclassicism in Italy at Palazzo Reale in Milan
MILAN Italy, March 05, 2002 - Following its extremely successful 2001 Picasso exhibition,
the rooms of Milans Palazzo Reale are now getting ready to house the exhibition
"Neoclassicism in Italy. From Tiepolo to Canova". The latter promises to rival
its predecessor in terms of success and importance, thanks to the wide interest of its
subject and a high standard of scientific expertise and precision. Around 400 works of
sculpture, painting and the decorative arts, belonging exclusively to the second half of
the 18th century and created in Italy, illustrate the passage from the baroque style
(beginning with some Tiepolo works dating from the middle of 18th century) to a new
neoclassical aesthetic (finishing with a large section dedicated to Canova, a true symbol
of neoclassicism if ever there was one). Between these two chronological poles, many other
artists (Belotto, David, Angelica Kauffman, Goya, Appiani) recreate the spirit of this
period through certain key themes essential to the neoclassical revolution: the cult of
ancient civilisations, the study of the classics and the development of a national Italian
identity, the revolution of taste, the institutionalisation of the figure of the artist,
the relationship with literature and the links between art and the great aristocratic
families of the time. As an added bonus, the exhibition will take place in some rooms of
the Palazzo Reale, decorated with original furnishings and opened for the first time since
the 1943 bombings: given that the Palazzo Reale is one of the best examples of
neoclassical architecture in Europe, its difficult to imagine a more appropriate and
coherent setting for this exhibition.
-------=======(* ITALIAN STYLE *)=======-------
Subject: Sanremo festival: Matia Bazar win
SANREMO Italy, March 09, 2002 - Also this year Sanremo has closed its show. With its tail
of polemics, the Festival ended leaving empty discussions, few songs to remember, and two
very talented girls among the Young: Valentina Giovagnini and Anna Tatangelo.
The winner of the Young section opened the evening, coming onto the stage with Baudo and
performing her song "Doppiamente Fragili". For the first time in this edition
music was the real protagonist and the artists followed one another on the stage without
excessive time wastage between one block and the other, livening up an open competition,
which has seen some performances that are finally at the level of the 'big' role.
Public opinion were chosen on the basis of family units, though the number of jurors
remains unaltered. Loredana Bertè started, making up for her previous performances and
giving the go ahead to a competition where everyone gave the best of themselves in a
finally relaxed atmosphere.
After the escaped danger of the eggs throws on Roberto Benigni, menaced by Giuliano
Ferrara, director of the newspaper "Il Foglio" and a peak exponent of
Berlusconi's centre-right coalition (more than a protest against the Oscar winning
director of "La vita è bella", who has always declared himself to be
left-winged, Ferrara's initiative appeared as a communication manoeuvre to exploit the
visibility train which the Sanremo Festival undoubtedly guarantees in the Italian public -
editor's note), the great comedian has illuminated the scene with a performance loaded
with humanity, surrealism and depth.
Roberto Benigni, as always improvising, has launched his satire against the powerful and
the bossy in a breathless escalation which has touched philosophical depths of comedy and
has had all the public present in the hall standing up for the only standing ovation of
the Festival. Between a joke, a gag, the unfailing squeeze to Pippo Baudo's "hidden
virtues", the recital of an Italian 14th century love poem and an excellently
performed song, Roberto Benigni was undoubtedly the true pearl of the whole Festival.
Subject: The Italian tradition of "Carnevale"
VENICE Italy, February 28, 2002 - The Carnevale is one of the long standing traditions of
the city of Venice. There is some question as to when the first Carnevale actually took
place. It was either during the 11th century when Venice struck a deal that made them one
of the most powerful maritime cities in the World causing the people to celebrate, or it
was during the 12th century when the Repubblica della Serenissima won its independence and
people rejoiced in San Marco square drinking and dancing.
No matter when the first Carnevale actually took place this event has turned into one of
the greatest festivities in the world. One of the great traditions associated with the
Carnevale is the costumes and in particular the masks worn by the people. Masks became
such an intrigal part that the artisans that created them were even recognized with their
own guild in 1436.
Throughout the history of the Carnevale many masks have been worn. Some masks only existed
briefly and can only be found in art work. While others have passed the test of time and
have been worn for centuries with some slight modifications. Masks can range from your
favorite pet to aliens to figures of the Renaissance period. Of all the types of masks
& costumes the Bauta, Pantalone, Pulcinella, Arlecchino, and Il Dottore seem to be the
The Carnevale is a great opportunity for people to put on a costume and forget who they
are. There are no worries of social class. You can be who ever you want to and enjoy the
festivities to the fullest. The rich could mingle with the poor and in some cases men
& women could go around and have sexual interludes with whomever they encountered
without ever revealing their true identity.
------=====(* ITALIAN HANDICRAFT WORKS OF ART *)=====------
Subject: Ferruccio Mengaroni at the Pesaro Ceramics Museum
PESARO Italy, March 08, 2002 - The exhibition includes about thirty ceramic works which
have been taken from the museum's storerooms. The pieces in the exhibition form almost all
of the Mengaroni collection with the exception of some works that were already on display
like the plate with Medusa, the panel showing The Battle of Massenzio and the amphora with
The Universal Judgement.
There are a great variety of shapes and forms in the collection, among them vases,
tankards, plates and tiles. The collection of figures is both vast and highly original,
characterised by the re-utilisation of genres and styles from far off days and settings.
Among the Renaissance pieces we can find, on the one hand, phytomorphic and geometrical
designs which are fourteenth century in style and, on the other, historical pieces
featuring images which are often taken from famous sources. Among the many portraits we
can find one of Ludovico Gonzaga which draws inspiration from Mantegna's fresco and which
bridges the gap between ceramic works and painting.
In the artist's representation of the animal world we can find figures ranging from
expressionistic exasperation to the purest form of stylisation without forgetting the use
of famous sources (as is the case with the rhinoceros which comes from an etching by
Therefore, there are a great number of reasons for paying a visit to the exhibition.
Even if it puts on display only a small part of Mengaroni's production, this exhibition is
undoubtedly a valid example of the importance and greatness of this ceramic artist from
Pesaro. Every work is proof of the unique style of this artist: the strength behind his
strokes, the expressiveness, the immediacy of the chromatic impact and the exaltation of
the material element through the figurative one.
Subject: Diamonds in Rome's Scuderie Papali at Quirinale
ROME Italy, March 11, 2002 - 'Diamonds. Art, History, Science' ('Diamanti. Arte, Storia,
Scienza') is the name of the sparkling new exhibit
opening at Rome's Scuderie Papali in the Quirinale. The exhibit, which runs until June 30,
not only includes a display of 160 of the precious stones themselves, but also sets them
within a historical, cultural and scientific framework. Among the 53 glass safes are
scattered art-work by names such as Botticello, Titian, Ingres, De Chirico and Balla,
exploring the symbolic role of the diamond, as well as background information on how it
arrived from India, then from the 1700s onwards from Brazil and South Africa. The exhibit
follows a chronological path, beginning with the earliest diamonds in Europe, always from
India which was the only known area with mines at the time.
The India section includes stones and objects of incredible beauty, such as turban grips
and a breathtaking rose-cut pearl and diamond necklace. With the discovery of mines in
Brazil, the number of available diamonds increased, and a dazzling collection of precious
royal objects are on display, such as a jewel-encrusted snuffbox. With South African mines
came the birth of creators such as Cartier and Bucheron, a number of whose beautiful
designs are on show.
The jewels on display include a variety of exquisite, valuable colored stones. There is
the pink 'Eye of the Idol' which belonged to Marie Antoinette, the blue diamond which was
set in a head of Shiva, the brown 'Eye of the Tiger', the 'Green Hope', and an incredibly
rare ruby-red diamond called the 'Power of Love'.
-----===(* ITALIAN/EUROPEAN ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES *)===-----
Subject: Milan goes by the book as the XIII Mostra del Libro Antico
MILAN Italy, March 12, 2002 - Some seventy of the world's leading antiquarian book sellers
will be exhibiting the best of their collections in Milan between Friday 22 and Sunday 24
March on the occasion of the XIII Mostra del Libro Antico. Sponsored by the Fondazione
Biblioteca di via Senato and held in the Milan fairgrounds complex, the exhibition is
expected to attract over ten thousand visitors.
A highlight of the Milan trade show calendar for the last twelve years, the event offers
an unparalleled overview of the world of books from manuscripts, via incunabula and
cinquecentine, to prime examples of twentieth-century publications, including cartoon
books and publications for children.
The following are just some of the highlights of the show.
Written in about 1464 in Venice, Arte del navigare is in paper and parchment and is being
exhibited by the Hamburg-based Jörn Günther Antiquariat book store. This is the only
extant example of this work on navigation, of the few known to have been produced in the
fifteenth and sixteenth century.
The Paris-based Patrick et Elisabeth Sourget antiquarian bookshop will be exhibiting a
copy of what is considered to be the first illustrated book on medicine. Published in
Venice in 1493, Incomincia el dignissimo fasciculo de medicina in volgare is the work of
Jean De Ketham. It is also the first publication to feature color printing.
Alfea Rare Books of Lugano are showing a copy of Cento giuochi liberali et d'ingegno. The
games in question are mostly word-play of various kinds and were collected by Innocenzo
Ringhieri, a gentleman of Bologna. Published in 1551, the book is dedicated to Catherine
de Médicis, or Caterina de Medici.
XVII AND XVIII CENTURIES
The first book to expound upon the use of roller-bearings as a means of moving large
masses from place to place will be shown by the Libreria Il Polifilo of Milan. Entitled
Monument élevé à la gloire de Pierre le Grand this key document of mechanical
engineering was published by Paris-based Nyon & Stoupe in 1777.
Fondazione Biblioteca di via Senato
Subject: Masterpieces of Magna Grecia in Trieste
TRIESTE Italy, March 09, 2002 - Some 600 precious finds and artifacts from
the Italian area under the influence of Greek civilization are on display in an exhibition
in Trieste entitled 'Le arti di Efesto - capolavori in metallo della Magna Grecia' ('The
Art of Ephestus - Metallic Masterpieces From Magna Grecia).
The exhibit includes finds which bear witness to the period of greatest prosperity in the
cities founded by the Greeks along the Italian coastline, from the second half of the
8th-century BC to the period when Rome conquered southern Italy (205 BC).
The objects are divided into five sections, one dedicated to bronze (statues and weapons),
and one to silver and gold. The coins on display allow archeologists to reconstruct
metalworking techniques practiced in different eras.
There are findings from across Italy - the Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Friuli-Venezia
Giulia, Lombardy, the Marches, Puglia, Sicily and Tuscany - all zones where Greek
influence was felt on the peninsula.
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