Tag Archives: Venice

Beauty and Beast: Venice and the rhino

In 1751 Pietro Longhi painted this portrait of the rhinoceros, Clara, brought to the Venice Carneval that year. He depicted the animal eating quietly, indifferent to its owner (carrying the horn which had rubbed off) and to the masked and other spectators in the casotto behind it. Nearly three centuries later the rhinoceros returns to Venice in the form of a symposium, Beauty and the Beast: Venice and the Rhino, on 24 November and an accompanying exhibition, Rhinoceros: Luxury’s Fragile Frontier, 24 November – 21 December, both at the Palazzo Contarini Polignac. The exhibition title reveals the central theme. Both Venice and the rhinoceros are now luxury objects and both are threatened by the desire they evoke. The symposium brings together artists, conservationists, poets, writers, and historians to explore the unexpected intersections between these two endangered objects of luxury consumption. The exhibition presents the works of two artists concerned about issues of fragility and identity in relation to their personal and wider worlds and that of the rhinoceros. Their sculptural creations will be framed against the background of a ‘demand reduction’ marketing campaign which targets the consumption of rhino horn.

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ACIS – Save Venice Fellowship 2018

ACIS is very pleased to announce that Dr Angelo Lo Conte has been awarded the inaugural ACIS – Save Venice Fellowship. He will spend 3 months in Venice in the second half of 2018 to work at the Biblioteca Marciana, the Fondazione Giorgio Cini and the Galleria dell’Accademia on the extensive literature about, and drawings of, three artists originally from Bologna: the brothers Camillo (b.1564),  Carlo Antonio (b.1571) and Giulio Cesare (b.1574) Procaccini. Both the stylistic and commercial aspects of the family bottega established in Milan in the late 1580s played a significant role, artistic and practical, in the transition from Mannerism to the Baroque.  The project will define and illustrate the ways in which the Procaccini were the most important family of painters working in northern Italy in the first part of the 17th century.

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A Racist Brooch? The Venetian origins of a royal jewel

Catherine Kovesi   University of Melbourne

In reportage of Christmas lunch at Buckingham Palace and the arrival of Meghan Markle and her fiancé Prince Harry, worldwide news focused on the item of jewellery worn by Princess Michael of Kent. Immediately branded as a ‘racist’ piece of jewellery in so-called ‘blackamoor’ style, many of these reports were also at pains to emphasise Princess Michael’s father’s association with the SS and to portray this fashion statement as a blatant affront to Harry’s choice of bride, a woman of part African-American heritage. Princess Michael hastily apologized for wearing the piece and said she would not wear it again. But this explosion of journalistic outrage obscures a much more interesting story  ……     Continue reading

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ACIS – Save Venice Fellowships for 2018

Further information on the Fellowships and how to apply for them can be found here.

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The Greeks in Venice, 1498‒1600

The Hellenic Museum and Co.As.It. Museo Italiano will launch The Greeks of Venice, 1498‒1600: Immigration, Settlement, and Integration by Ersie C. Burke with a presentation by Carolyn James (Monash University) on Thursday 10 August 2017 at 6.30pm, Co.As.It. Museo Italiano, 199 Faraday Street, Carlton (free event; RSVP here). Burke traces the history of Venice’s Greek population during the formative years between 1498 and 1600 when thousands left their homelands for Venice. She describes how Greeks established new communal and social networks, making the transition from outsiders to insiders (though not quite Venetians) in the context of multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, and multi-lingual Venice. This reconstruction of the history of the largest Christian ethnic minority in early modern Venice is interwoven with individual stories drawn from a great variety of sources – notarial documents, petitions, gov­ernment and church records, registries of marriages and deaths, and census data – held in Vene­tian church and state archives and in the Hellenic Institute of Venice.

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Scholarships for research in Venice

logo_ciniThe Fondazione Cini has issued a call for applications for two kinds of scholarship for research in Venice to be taken up between May 2017 and May 2018. The first is a 3-month residential scholarship for postdoctoral students aged under 40 (3 available, worth €6250 each), offered by the Vittore Branca International Centre for the Study of Italian Culture. The second is a 3-month residential scholarship (2 available, worth €6250 each) for PhD or postdoctoral students who are the children or grandchildren of Italian emigrants. In both cases the research projects must make use of the archives and materials held at the Foundation. Further details of the scholarships and the application procedure can be found via the links above.  The deadline for application for both scholarships is 10 March 2017.

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Places of the Italian Fantastic: cities, houses, mountains

nebbia_veneziaThe latest issue of ReadingItaly is devoted to the literature of the fantastic. Beatrice Sica (UCL) examines Bontempelli’s and Buzzati’s Milano fantastica in which Bontempelli imagined the Piazza del Duomo – ‘occupata non da altro che da basse capanne, in mezzo a suono di ferrame, perché tra le capanne s’aggiravano vasti guerrieri baffuti con risa oscene’ – as the warrior camp of Belloveso, the city’s alleged founder. Silvia Zangrandi (IULM) looks at the ways Venice – ‘suspended between reality and imagination … populated by angels … where streets spring up and dissolve overnight, new canals take the place of earth’ – has been portrayed in works by Marinetti, Morante, Winterson and Buzzati. Matthew Reza (Oxford) recalls Buzzati’s love of the mountains and dislike of the city – ‘bolgia infernale di perdizione e alienazione, regno dell’ipocrisia, della menzogna, dell’egoismo, dove i sentimenti e le angosce peggiori trovano il miglior terreno per attecchire’. Paola Roccella (Warwick) points to the ambiguities, thresholds and Gothic motifs in Landolfi’s Racconto d’autunno, drafted in a decaying manor in Pico Farnese in 1946.

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Fondazione Giorgio Cini: borse di studio

biblioteca_del_longhena-190x120La Fondazione Giorgio Cini di Venezia offre borse di studio residenziali da 3 e 6 mesi a PhD e post-doc interessati a trascorrere un periodo di studio a Venezia per lavorare su temi di storia dell’arte, storia di Venezia, musicologia, letteratura, teatro, libri antichi. Oltre a queste borse, vi è un bando specificamente rivolto a studenti di origine italiana. Per ulteriori informazioni, contattare Marta Zoppetti del Centro Vittore Branca della Fondazione.

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Enfilade, Venetian Painting, Remembering David Rosand

Sally Grant   New York

bellotto-framed-copy

Here is an item from a recent issue of the newsletter Enfilade that will interest ACIS readers (Enfilade is edited by the tireless and ineffably charming Craig Hanson who keeps everyone in eighteenth-century studies, especially art and architecture, informed about what is going on in the way of exhibitions, conferences and publications). It signals the opening this week of a Venetian painting exhibition, In Light of Venice: Venetian Painting in Honor of David Rosand, at the Otto Naumann Gallery, New York, which lasts until 12 February 2016. The title recalls the distinguished art historian of Renaissance Venice who died in 2014 and in whose honour a new Italian professorship is to be established at Columbia University. Some of the profits from the exhibition will be donated to the David Rosand Tribute Fund at the university to support the position.

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Venetian Old Master Drawings, and a Contemporary Response, at the Ashmolean, Oxford

Sally Grant   New York

Giovanni Battista Piazzetta (1682-1754), Head of a Youth, Ashmolean Museum

Giovanni Battista Piazzetta (1682-1754), Head of a Youth © Ashmolean Museum

A major early-modern Venetian drawing exhibition has opened at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. Focusing on works from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century, Titian to Canaletto: Drawing in Venice should be a visual delight. Considering other recent exhibitions on this subject in Venice, LA, and New York (both in 2012 and 2013-14, as reviewed here), however, the museum’s emphasis on its “ground breaking” attention to the role drawing played for Venetian artists is perhaps a tad overstated. Nevertheless, when it comes to the art of Venice, the more shows the merrier.

This is particularly the case when exhibitions bring to view drawings that are often sequestered in archives away from the public’s gaze. Each opportunity to look closely at such works brings with it the chance of new understanding of aspects of art and humanity. And unlike the previously mentioned exhibitions, where the works were all drawn from US collections, the Ashmolean is displaying its own drawings alongside loans from the Uffizi in Florence and Oxford’s Christ Church. This will create the UK’s first prominent exhibition devoted to the drawings of the Venetian Old Masters.

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