News from Florence, N. 9 - May 2005
 
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Initiatives of international collaboration for the study and the valorisation of the monuments of the
Civilizations of the Antique and Recent Past

A past to know together Restauration Exhibitions Meetings Courses

A NEW RESTAURATION PROMOTED BY THE FOUNDATION: “THE STANDARD” OF SODOMA
On April, 15 Antonio Natali (Director of the Department of Renaissance Paintings, Mannerism and Seicento in the Uffizi Gallery) presented in the Uffizi Gallery a masterpiece whose restoration is promoted by the Foundation and sustained by the Superintendence of the Florentine Museums and Vivahotels “Art in our Heart”: it is a standard by Giovanni Antonio Bazzi, commonly called Sodoma (Vercelli 1477-Siena 1549) that represents, on the recto, Saint Sebastian and, on the verso, the Madonna with the Child and Saints Rocco and Sigismond with six Brothers. The masterpiece (an oil on canvas, 204x145cm) was created in 1525 for the Society of St. Sebastian in Camollia in Siena. The peculiarity of the masterpiece (which represents also the main difficulty for restorers) is that the author used the same canvas for two different masterpieces. The Foundation and Vivahotels will carry out the necessary studies for restoration, adoption of a new canvas and a new frame for the reverse painting as the one on the recto.
on the left foto: A detail of the Sodoma’s “Standard” (verso); on the right foto: A tetail of the Sodoma’s “Standard” (recto)

THE STATUES OF THE AUGUSTAN VILLA IN SOMMA VESUVIANA AT THE EXPO 2005 IN AICHI ( JAPAN)
As our readers might remember, during the excavations of the Augustian Villa in Somma Vesuviana, by the Tokyo University, with the co-operation of the Foundation and other local institutions, two statues were brought to light: one statue is a figure of a woman in a Greek dress (“peplos”); the second one representing the god Dionysus (the god of wine and happiness). These days the two statues, from May 25 till September 25 are exhibited in Aichi in Japan, in the occasion of the Universal Expo 2005, dedicated this year to the “Wisdom of Nature”.
The statues, datable with the beginning of the I C. a.C., were realized in different marble blocks, carved apart and assembled with the techniques used in the Phlegraean area. The first statue is approximately 1,20m high, it was found in a niche; the traces of wisteria colours preserved in the deepest folds of the dress demonstrate that the statue was coloured. The figure of a man, approximately 1,60m high, represents Dionysus with an ivy league and in a Hellenistic-Roman pose. The young god's shoulder is covered by a “nebris”, a short mantle made of kid leather; with his right hand the god is holding a panther cub. This element of the statue makes the monument of Somma unique: until these days there have never been seen such examples.
Dionysus and Pelploforos will be installed in the centre of the Japanese exhibition and around it there will be a reconstruction of the monumental roman villa, which excavation will restart in June.
on the foto: A detail of the Dionysus

A past to know together Restauration Exhibitions Meetings Courses

EXHIBITION “MARIA CALLAS & SWAROVSKI: JEWELS ON STAGE – SET AND COSTUME DESIGNS FROM THE TEATRO DEL MAGGIO MUSICALE FIORENTINO” FROM THE TEATRO DEL MAGGIO MUSICALE FIORENTINO”
From April 30 till May 29 an exhibition devoted to the famous Greek soprano was held at Royal Mail Hall in Uffizi Gallery, through the jewels (about thirty parures) she wore on the stage of the most renowned theatres, together with the set and costume designs from the Archivio del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, which recreate the staging and the unforgettable interpretations of Maria Callas at the Teatro Comunale di Firenze; furthermore, in the centre of the exhibition hall, is shown the costume she wore in 1957 for the Luigi Cherubini piece “Medea” at the Teatro Comunale di Firenze; this also thanks to the support of the Foundation, together with Vivahotels “Art in our HeArt”.
The exhibition celebrated the opening of the 68° Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, and previously was displayed at Wien Staatsoper; then it will move to Salzburg and London (for the opening of the homonymous festivals and later to Berlin, Tokyo and New York.
on the foto: The costume of Maria Callas for “Medea” by Cherubini

TWO EXHIBITIONS IN COLLABORATION WITH GABINETTO SCIENTIFICO LETTERARIO G.P. VIEUSSEUX IN FLORENCE
On March 4, for the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the twinning between Florence and Kyoto, two contemporary exhibitions were open, under the auspices of the President of the Italian Republic and supported by Tuscany Region.
The first exhibition called “Florence and Kyoto, parallel cities” was organized by the Gabinetto Vieusseux in collaboration with the Romualdo Del Bianco Foundation, the Florentine Councillor for International Relations and City Twinning and Vivahotels “Art in our HeArt”. It payed a tribute to the photographical art of Fosco Maraini from which, with simplicity and strength that is always contained, original and unique traces offered by the two alternative cities appear: the wise but absolute dominance of nature, as Florence expresses, and the complete and mystic fusion within it, as Kyoto does. The exhibition is expected to be in Kyoto in autumn 2005.
The second exhibition called “Infantàsia: the extraordinary side of everyday life in Italian and Japanese children drawings, 1938-2004” was promoted by Gabinetto Scientifico Letterario G.P. Vieusseux, with the co-operation of the Foundation, Vivahotels “Art in our HeArt” and other prestigious institutions. The exhibition has been an original context where East and West met each other through an extraordinary selection of 80 drawings of Italian and Japanese girls and boys since 1938 till our days. Infantàsia was a trip into the extraordinary side of an everyday life through the child's fantasy that is really different from the vision of the reality that an adult has.
Infantàsia is expected in Bisai (Nagoya) on May 10 and in Kyoto in October 2005.
on the left fotos: Florence and Kyoto, parallel cities; on the right foto: “Infantasia”

A past to know together Restauration Exhibitions Meetings Courses

CONFERENCE “THE CHINESE INK PAINTINGS: TRADITIONAL SCHOOLS AND CONTEMPORARY CURRENTS”
On April 15 in the Ferri Hall of the Gabinetto Scientifico Letterario G.P. Vieusseux took place a meeting with the Prof. Luo Shiping (Dept. of History of Arts on the Central Academy of Fine Art in Beijing) upon the traditional Chinese painting. The meeting was organized by the Chinese Art and Ethnographic Museum of Parma.
The Chinese painting contains strong cultural characteristics and its very own stile. During its thousand year history the Art of Chinese painting produced masterpieces that combined different arts like poetry, calligraphy, drawing and stamping. Since the XII c. Chinese writers and poets used the ink painting to express their thoughts and sentiment with a refined aesthetical taste that underlines the quiet elegance and spontaneity. This spirit and tradition has been carried till these days, forming a particular current of painters-poets.

A past to know together Restauration Exhibitions Meetings Courses

COURSE OF SPECIALISATION “ANALYSIS, RESTORATION AND PRESERVATION OF THE JAPANESE SWORD” FLORENCE, 18-23 JULY 2005
The course, promoted by the Foundation in collaboration with the Stibbert Museum and the Centre of Studies and Searches of the University of Tokyo in Florence, organized by Fleming Youth and sustained by Vivahotels “Art in our HeArt”,, will face the most frequent damages of the Japanese blades, the most correct preservation, according to the traditional Japanese method and the methodology of prevention, offering a high qualification that is difficult to achieve outside Japan. The lessons will be held by Marco Quadri, a professional of the art, who, since 1993, was student of the master Mishina Kenji Mukansha of the NBTHK of Tokyo, formerly head instructor to the Nagayama Kenshujo and entrusted by the Japanese Government to the restoration of designate blades with the qualification of" Kokuho" (National Treasure) and" Juyo Bunkazai (Important Cultural Property).

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