Italy's painters and sculptors, from Artemisia Gentileschi to Perugino to Giovanni Bellini and the Macchiaioli
Our Favorite Italian Artists
[Regions of Italy]
We set ourselves a daunting task in this issue: to tell you about our favorite artists. As anyone who has ever been to Italy can attest, it's certainly no problem finding fascinating painters, sculptors, decorators, artisans and architects. They are everywhere you look, crowding around you, vying for your attention, your esteem and your love. More often than not, they win them. The challenge, in Italy, is not to find good art. After Day One or Day Two, the trick is to create enough space in your soul to accommodate all that art. By Day Three you may be the victim of aesthetic overload - perhaps the Italian equivalent of Montezuma's Revenge - or you may find yourself having trouble even remembering the name of the artist whose work so moved and astonished you just two days before. This is why our task was a daunting one: if a traveler can be so bombarded in only three days, think of the inner turmoil a person could suffer in twenty years of living there!
Naturally, we have had to compromise a bit. We couldn't tell you about all our favorite artists. Instead, we have chosen to concentrate on some aspects of Italian art that may not spring to mind as quickly as, say, the Sistine Chapel or La Gioconda (known to the rest of the world as the Mona Lisa). Rosemary Torigian and Sims Brannon have focused on the way living artists fit into the texture of modern Italy. There's a virtual tour through a true hotbed of favorites: Rome's Borghese Gallery. And we'll introduce you to the fascinating Macchiaioli, a group of pre-Impressionists who lived and worked at the end of the last century; as well as to a fascinating Baroque painter who just happened to be a woman. Perhaps one of these will someday find a place among your favorite artists.
- It took seventeen years to restore the Galleria Borghese, but the wonderful collection that emerged can truly vie with the Vatican's for the title of Rome's Best Museum.
- If you are planning to see any of your favorite artists' work in museums, be sure to make advance reservations. They are recommended and, in some cases, mandatory.
- Of course one of the best places in the world to encounter our favorite artists is the Uffizi Galleries in Florence. Here's how to avoid standing in line for up to three hours before you even get in!
- The man whom many consider to be the first great painter of the Florentine Renaissance
died when he was only 26, so that may be why you haven't heard of him. But he was Michelangelo's favorite,
and all the great painters were hugely inspired by his genius. So why does history know of him as "Sloppy
- Through the ages, gold has been an important element used by all sorts of Italian arists, from mosaicists to weavers. But have you ever tried it in a recipe? Sims Brannon has!
- Gentile da Fabriano lived at the turn of the 15th century. His groundbreaking work set the stage for Italy's transition from Gothic to Renaissance. Here is more information, along with a photo gallery of his works.
- This virtual tour will help you learn more about Venice's official painter, Giovanni Bellini.
- Their paintings speak eloquently of life in a family-oriented backwater surrounded by encroaching world events. Many experts consider I Macchiaioli to be the true precursors of Impressionism.
- A very different type of Tuscan art mecca is Niki De Saint Phalle's Tarot Garden.
- Much has been written about the lives of the great Renaissance masters. This month Rosemary Torigian tells us about the life of a modern artist in Rome.
- If you are fascinated and moved by the dramatic paintings of Caravaggio, you will probably be equally intrigued by those of Artemisia Gentileschi, a woman whose style was greatly influenced by the troubled genius she met as a youth.
- If you've been to Venice, Madrid or Würzburg, you're probably familiar with the work of Giambattista Tiepolo, born in Venice and heavily on display in the exquisite little mountain city of Udine.
- Take a virtual tour of the works of Galileo Chini, a turn-of-the-century Florentine.
- One of our most beloved Italian artists is Piero di Cristoforo Vannucci, known as Il Perugino. Here's a roadmap to his works in Italy.
- Many of our favorite artists can also be enjoyed in North America.
- Useful WWW links.