Saturday, 31 May 2014

Sicily: Palermo and Monreale, art in the Middle Ages

With the end of the Roman period and a brief presence of the Vandals, Sicily was reconquered by the Byzantine.
Subsequently, from the year 827, the Arabs conquered the island gradually. The last Byzantine resistance occurred in Taormina in the year 902. It was soon established an emirate of Sicily.
After the year 1000 many Norman knights had in the meantime arrived in southern Italy in search of fortune.
A group of these knights of the Norman family of Hauteville in the year 1072 occupied Palermo and began the conquest of Sicily.
During the kingdom of the Altavilla many monuments were built by Moorish craftsmen helped by Byzantine artists.
So the architecture and mosaics were made ​​with a very particular style.
The most beautiful buildings of this period are visible in Palermo, Monreale and Cefalù.

cloister of Monreale, picture a.p

Church of St. John the Hermit , picture a.p.

mosaic in Monreale, illustration wikipedia

Tourists who visit Palermo are fascinated by mosaics of the Palatine Chapel in the Norman Palace, by some ancient churches, from the Zisa palace and other monuments.
A great cycle of mosaics and a nice cloister in the Cathedral of Monreale  (a small town near Palermo) deserve the trip in western Sicily.

Cefalù, old picture. Beautiful mosaics inside

And finally, should also see the beautiful cathedral of Cefalu, a town on the sea.

To learn more about the topics see pages: Palermo-Monreale in Middle Ages  and  Sicily, history notes.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Siena, church Santa Maria dei Servi

This church, originally built in the Middle Ages, it is sometimes referred to San Clemente.
Santa Maria dei Servi is located on a small hill and from this position you can admire a beautiful view of Siena.

the facade of the church and the landscape that tourists can see from terrace
photos © alpav

Inside the church there are often interesting works of art from the Renaissance period.
Here are visible paintings by Bernardino Fungai (Coronation of the Virgin),Coppo di Marcovaldo, Matteo di Giovanni, Taddeo di Bartolo, Pietro Lorenzetti and other artists.

Madonna di Bordone painted by Coppo di Marcovaldo (photo wikipedia)

painting by Fungai-photo © alpav
For the artist Bernardino Fungai and Coppo di Marcovaldo we know few works often in Tuscany. Some paintings  by Fungai are in the Getty Museum of Los Angels, in the Museum of Fine Arts of Houston, etc.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Verona, old frescoes

Between the end of the twelfth century and the beginning of the thirteenth century in Verona there was a notable development of the arts.
Tourists can admire interesting frescoes in the churches of San Zeno, San Fermo and St. Anastasia.

frescoes San Fermo church- 2 photos © alpav

San Zeno church -ap

For other frescoes have only a few memories and evidence. The artists were numerous and in any case should not be forgotten that the example of Giotto in Padua (Scrovegni Chapel) was important.
To know more, read: "affreschi gotici e giotteschi a Verona".

Of course we should not forget the many other works of art of and the archaeological evidence of Verona Roman period. 

Art in the cathedral of Monza

The city of Monza began to have some importance, when the queen Theodolinda in the sixth century chose the place as a summer residence. The city of Monza began to have some importance, when Queen Theodolinda in the sixth century chose the place as a summer residence and then in the Lombard period was built the first cathedral. The system of the present cathedral dates from the year 1300. Many parts of the church were modicate at a later time. The façade was partially rebuilt in the nineteenth century

the cathedral of Monza, photo © alpav

important detail of the facade, photo © alpav

There are numerous works of art visible in the cathedral and the adjacent museum. And surely many people have heard of the Iron Crown of Lombardy (wikipedia)
We document some of the nice things about this place.

frescoes in the chapel of Theodelinda (by wikipedia)

sculpture of the Middle Ages-photo © alpav

antiquities of the cathedral (museum)-photo &alpav;

Important works of sculpture of the Cathedral of Monza were built in the Middle Ages by Matthew, a craftsman of the art school of Campione.
Important jewels of the late Roman period and the Lombard kingdom are preserved in the beautiful museum. Among the finest pieces: "hen with cicks" Lombard period; some pieces of ivory (diptych), the Gospel Book of Theodolinda...


Around Roman Ghetto

The Jewish Ghetto in Rome is very old. It was established in 1555, but Jewish presence in Rome are much older and were often in the neighborhood of Trastevere. There was also a synagogue in Ostia Antica, the ancient Roman port.
An important part of the ghetto of Rome is in the vicinity of the old Portico of Octavia .

Portico d'Ottavia, built in the Augustan period.
In the Middle Ages here was the fish market

the synagogue

the synagogue, and the road adjacent to the Tevere river

the famous fountain of the turtles, near the ghetto
piazza Mattei- photo © alpav- To know better: Fontana Tartarughe

In the ghetto there are also some restaurants where the people of Rome and tourists appreciate the artichokes cooked to giudiaca.
The Ghetto is near the Tiberina island and an ancient bridge over the Tevere river.

Fabricious bridge - photo © alpav

the bridge in the evening-photo © alpav

Saturday, 24 May 2014

The Three Graces by Canova

Possagno, Canova Museum: the exhibition of the famous statues will last until June 22.

A Possagno (Treviso), tourists can admire the two versions of the statues. The first group of statues -now in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg -Canova created for Joséphine de Beauharnais. The second group was made some years later by the same artist at the request of John Russel, Duke of Bedford.
Also on display are the old sketches. The art show is in Possagno birthplace of Antonio Canova.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Ancient mosaics in Rome

Many ancient mosaics can be seen in museums or in underground locations, but sometimes tourists can admire the beautiful mosaics in ancient churches partially built in the last period of the Roman Empire.
Some examples with our photos.

Mausoleum for Constance, daughter emperor Constantine mosaics IV century
(via Nomentana, complex S.Agnese)-© alpav

Lateran baptistery (San Giovanni in Fonte), mosaics V century-© alpav

Other interesting ancient mosaics are in the church dedicated to Santa Prassede and attached chapel of San Zenone. Tourists can also see large parts of ancient mosaics in churches of SS.Cosma- Damian, San Pudenziana, San Marco... The most ancient mosaics in the basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore are in very high position for tourists.
Very large mosaics are finally in the archaeological area of Ostia Antica. Tourists can also get there by subway. The mosaics at Ostia are often black and white.

The mosaics of Santa Maria in Trastevere are very beautiful but they were made ​​in the Middle Ages by Pietro Cavallini..

Guido Reni, frescoes in San Gregorio al Celio, Rome

The famous painter of Bologna (1575-1642) worked several years in Rome. In Vatican and roman museums are preserved many of his paintings. Frescoes on the wall made by Guido Reni are in some builduings. Very nice is the fresco "Aurora" in the Pallavicini-Rospigliosi palace on the Quirinal Hill
We have pictures of his frescoes in San Gregorio al Celio -oratory S.Andrea -

frescoes, photos © alpav

To learn more about the great complex of "San Gregorio al Celio", we recommend see article in Italian: S.Gregorio
Paintings of the famous painter are visible, as well as in Rome, in Bologna, Florence, Milan, Naples and other Italian cities.
Visitors can see paintings by Guido Reni in many museums: National Gallery in London, the Louvre in Paris, Dresden Gemaeldegalerie, Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Vienna and other museums in Europe and the United States.
the paint Venus and Cupid, now in Dresden
This painting is probably one of the works of art sold in 1745 by the Duke of Modena to the Elector Augustus III of Saxony.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Paintings by Antonello da Messina in Romania

Some years ago in Rome were many visitors to the exhibition of works by Antonello da Messina. See the exhibition website.
Rome, Scuderie Quirinale, exhibition year 2006

In fact, the paintings of this artist are not many and they are all beautiful. Antonello was born in Sicily around the year 1430 and died in 1479. Many of his works are in museums in the world, but some important paintings are still in Sicily.
For ancient historical events, a painting by Antonello is in the city of Sibiu in Romania. In this city of Transylvania, Samuel von Brukenthal created (XVIII century) an important collection of art.

the famous Crucifixion-Sibiu - Brukental Museum

The catalog of a museum in Bucharest (Mnar) attributed to Antonello da Saliba (relative to Antonello da Messina), a painting with the Madonna and the Child.
peinture od Antonello da Saliba

In 2008, Bucharest was organized a small exhibition of works by Antonello da Messina.
The occasion is good to remember two famous paintings by Antonello visible at Palermo and Cefalu.

all photos by wikipedia/wikimedia
Article in italian language: Antonello in Naples

Parma, some nice places

Parma is a very nice city in Emilia region. This italian city is very famous for art and for food (ham, cheese, tortellini and more) made ​​by the inhabitants.
Great artists have worked in Parma and tourists must remember the following names: Antelami, Correggio and Parmigianino.
In Parma there are many monuments and several museums. In this blog we expose some photos.

Palazzo della Pilotta

Frescoes in the church of Santa Maria della Steccata
The frescoes representing virgins were painted by Parmigianino

photo- © alpav

The painting by Correggio in the cupola of the cathedral

medieval sculpture by Antelami in the cathedral-© alpav

cathedral and baptistery (photo by wikipedia -spaceodissey)

The tourists, however, should not forget to visit the church of San Giovanni Evangelista, beautiful rooms painted by Correggio in the monastery of St. Paul, the art gallery, the Farnese Theatre and other landmarks. Tourists who stay several days it is advisable to listen to the opera by Giuseppe Verdi.In the restaurants of Parma there are many good things and maybe some tourists will buy the famous Parmesan cheese or some good jam.
Article in italian language: Parma and baptistery