All posts filed under: Arts

Botticelli’s influence on british pre-Raphaelites

In order for us to understand why Sandro Botticelli’s influence is of such relevance that the Uffizi Galleries renovate the Florentine master’s display to accommodate the modern viewers’ experiences, we shall draw a brief overview on the impact his style had on a small group of British painters, who initiated a trend commonly known as the pre-Raphaelites. So why, all of a sudden, would an old Italian master like Botticelli obtain such a huge impact on British painting as late as in the middle of the 19th century? To seek for an answer, we shall go back to the very starting point: London on a September day in the year of 1848. As a protest against the prevailing conservative history painting at the Royal Academy, a group of young artists congregated in an intellectual as well as a spiritual comradeship and formed what they rather solemnly named the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Initially the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was formed by only three young men at the age of 19-21, that is, William Holman (1827-1910), Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882), …

The Diver

Suspended in the air, dynamic but still, concentrically plunges Ernesto Michahelles’ diver.  The sculpture, in patinated plaster, currently exposed at Palazzo Strozzi for the exhibition on the Thirties, is the draft for a bronze casting to be displayed at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.  However, the IOC asked the artist to create a smaller sculpture, 160 cm instead of the almost 3 meters of this original project, and later Thayaht himself could not afford to pay for the metal fusion. The diver’s balance and the effort are brilliantly reproduced in the work, anchored on a single pin below the hands. The metal circles are independently set as a base, and each time the sculpture is mounted, its needs to find its own balance again, its own perfect alignment. Linear artist with eclectic skills, Thayaht is a particular character in the art world. Sculptor, painter, goldsmith and fashion designer , Thayaht, was born in Florence in 1893. He grew up in his grandfather’s house at Poggio Imperiale, and his years in Paris, designed clothes for the atelier …

MOMA, New York City

Museums and Time

“Why are museums associated with the past?”, asks Pietro Clemente, Anthropology Professor at the University of Florence, Italy, in a paper focusing on Heritage. Perhaps because of the Muses, or Egyptian, Etruscan and Roman museums. When you think about these ancient people, you think they are in a fuzzy and remote time, not in the ‘real’ time of our knowledge of them: but then archeology is one of the most modern and computerized subjects of the humanities. Of course, there is still some room for romantic gestures and visionary insights, but the last word is based on computed tomography. Collections are a relatively recent phenomenon, and for certain categories (objects of ordinary people, calling cards, modern art) it is constantly changing. The ICOM (International Council of Museums, a UNESCO related NGO) was founded on science museums and civilization museums, like archaeological and ethnographic ones, that have more than 150 years, and are constantly updating their communication and multimedia technology. In this sense there is nothing more up-to-date, postmodern, and technologically advanced of a museum. Especially …

The Bridge of Aspiration, London, © Bernardo Ricci Armani


Twisting high above Floral Street in Covent Garden, the “Bridge of Aspiration”, designed by Wilkinson Eyre Architects, provides the dancers of the Royal Ballet School with a direct link to the Royal Opera House of London. It’s apparent twisting and turning path reflects the complex ways of hope and ambition, will and discipline, skills and strength, that ballerinas need to achieve themselves. The “Bridge of Aspiration” with its bars leading to an unseen future becomes a metaphor for life. © Melissa Pignatelli 2012 © Photo by Bernardo Ricci-Armani