Follow Ciao! Things are swimming along quite nicely here in Amelia (quite literally swimming right now – I’m currently enjoying a mid-afternoon thunderstorm). In addition to my busy class schedule and pile of books I need to read, I’m absolutely loving … Read More
Ciao! Things are swimming along quite nicely here in Amelia (quite literally swimming right now - I'm currently enjoying a mid-afternoon thunderstorm). In addition to my busy class schedule and pile of books I need to read, I'm absolutely loving being surrounded by such incredible architecture. Living in an Italian city that has Etruscan roots and has Roman ruins around every corner is such an interesting reminder of how deep European history runs, and furthermore, how big of a role it plays in the citizens' everyday lives. I am lucky enough to go to class everyday in this beautiful complex, the Palazzo Boccarini. Built in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, it was adapted in the early-sixteenth century as a cloister of the convent of San Francesco. The chiostro, as we call it, not only houses the classroom for my program, but also the city's lovely archaeological museum. It also plays host to many cultural events such as small concerts for the local Amerini, or the citizens of Amelia. It even has a little room right off of the street, Piazza Vera, where people gather to play cards with their friends to escape the afternoon heat.
[caption id="attachment_4066" align="aligncenter" width="224"] The Chiostro Boccarini[/caption] Adorning the corridor of the Chiostro are three beautiful frescos that I pass by at least eight times a day. Frescos are such an important part of the art historical tradition, and I'm trying to absorb and appreciate as much of it as possible whilst I'm in Italy. [caption id="attachment_4067" align="aligncenter" width="300"] The ground-floor corridor of the Chiostro[/caption] Fresco, from the Italian affresco, meaning "fresh," is a technique of mural painting that has been used since antiquity, but gained popularity and prominence with the Italian Renaissance. Contrasted with secco, or dry, painting, pigments are added directly into wet plaster, the result of which is that the painting itself becomes an integral part of the wall itself. The frescos at the Chiostro Boccarini depict both religious scenes and also the life of the Boccarini family, who were the patrons of the complex itself. [caption id="attachment_4068" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Fresco at the Chiostro Boccarini[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4069" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Fresco at the Chiostro Boccarini[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4070" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Fresco at the Chiostro Boccarini[/caption] These beautiful paintings act as daily reminders of the artistic history of the community here in Amelia. Do you have a favorite fresco? What about Michelangelo's Creation of Adam? Or perhaps Raphael's School of Athens? Maybe Leonardo's Last Supper (which is technically an example of a secco mural, but we can overlook that for now - it's still pretty impressive)?
One of my most favorite college courses while studying art was Art History. It helped of course that I had a professor who was so passionate about our world's greatest artists and masterpieces. I recall taking notebooks full of handwritten notes on these artists, and making flashcards of each painting and sculpture with all the known facts about them. I've been fortunate to see some of the masterpieces in person at the Louvre in Paris, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, and the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. Here is a top 10 list of the world's greatest painters and sculptor compiled by Neil Collins MA LLB. #10 Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) #9 Jan Van Eyck (1390-1441) #8 Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) #7 Claude Monet (1840-1926) #6 Donatello (1386-1466) #5 JMW Turner (1775-1851) #4 Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519) #3 Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) #2 Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-69) #1 Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564) Did you know that Gallery Direct offers some of these amazing and beautiful masterpieces such as from Claude Monet? You can also search our Photo Vault for stock images from all of these artists or photographs of their works. We also have a Classic Art section where you can find masterpieces by many famous artists such as Klimt, Van Gogh, Degas and others. Even though they did not make it on this top 10 list, they certainly made their mark on history in the world of art. Since these artists are so famous it's a given that current artists will give us a new rendition (maybe with a modern twist) on some old masterpieces. Here's an example from one of our exclusive artists Randy Slack. Want a masterpiece hanging on a wall in your home or office, get it from Gallery Direct. We can print it for you on canvas to closely resemble the original masterpiece, or give it a modern look and print it on acrylic, birchwood or aluminum like this blogger did with Van Gogh's Starry Night.