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Not the Mario you were expecting

Mario: animated short An animation of a chilling Italian children's (?) song, created by painting frames on glass! [via mefi projects]
posted by ignignokt on Jul 15, 2014 - 4 comments

anti-pasta and autarky

In 1929, Italian artist (author of The Futurist manifesto) Filippo Tommaso Marinetti opened a restaurant, La Taverna del Santo Palato [Tavern of the Holy Palate] in Turin. In 1930/31, Marinetti went on a polemical crusade against pasta, decrying it as holding the Italian people back.
In 1932, he wrote La Cuicina Futurista [The Futurist Cookbook]. Part manifesto, part cookbook, all promotional, it contained a host of sensational delights, like "Chicken Fiat": chicken roasted with steel ball bearings, on a bed of whipped cream, as well as desciptions of banquets, and a recounting of his success against pasta. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Feb 20, 2014 - 25 comments

The Tomb of the Warrior Prince

In September, Italian archaeologists removed a slab door in Tarquinia and entered an untouched, newly discovered Etruscan tomb (Slideshow: Entry to Tomb, Pictures of Contents) There was much excitement to find the intact tomb of a high-status man - a warrior, a prince, a man of importance, with a lance, grave goods, and the remains of his wife. Or so it was trumpeted by the discovering team and the media. A month later … the figure on the wider slab with the lance turns out to be the female, and the man was on the other slab. Whoops! Judith Weingarten writes about the assumptions made before and after the osteological analysis (and Part II). [more inside]
posted by julen on Dec 16, 2013 - 14 comments

Naturalis Historia

"My subject is a barren one – the world of nature, or in other words life; and that subject in its least elevated department, and employing either rustic terms or foreign, nay barbarian words that actually have to be introduced with an apology. Moreover, the path is not a beaten highway of authorship, nor one in which the mind is eager to range: there is not one of us who has made the same venture, nor yet one Roman who has tackled single-handed all departments of the subject."
Naturalis Historia was written by Pliny the Elder between 77 and 79 CE and was meant to serve as a kind of proto-encyclopedia discussing all of the ancient knowledge available to him, covered in enough depth and breadth to make it by a reasonable margin the largest work to survive to the modern day from the Roman era. The work includes discussions on astronomy, meteorology, geography, mineralogy, zoology and botany organized along Aristotelian divisions of nature but also includes essays on human inventions and institutions. It is dedicated to the Emperor Titus in its epistle to the Emperor Vespasian, a close friend of Pliny who relied on his extensive knowledge, and its unusually careful citations of sources as well as its index makes it a precursor to modern scholarly works. It was Pliny's last work, as well as sadly his sole surviving one, and was published not long before his death attempting to save a friend from the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum, famously recounted by Pliny's eponymous nephew Pliny the Younger.
Here is a reasonable translation that is freely available to download from archive.org for your edification.
[more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Dec 16, 2013 - 24 comments

ex voto suscepto

Suspended in Void - a lovely collection of Italian ex votos depicting people who survived falls under the watchful eye of the Virgin Mary. Previously: a larger collection of ex votos from various cultures. (Via Heading East)
posted by madamjujujive on May 14, 2013 - 9 comments

For the Love of Art

"If nobody cares about the art that's inside the museum, then I'll burn it," vowed Antonio Manfredi, director of the cash-starved Contemporary Art Museum of Casoria in Italy. In February, he started burning.
posted by El Sabor Asiatico on Aug 3, 2012 - 21 comments

Canadian politely turns himself in for speeding

Randy George Scott turns himself in for riding through British Columbia at speeds in excess of 180 mph (300 km/h). [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jul 26, 2012 - 66 comments

Bridge of Signs

Most people know that Venice has long been threatened by chronic flooding, but in recent years the Queen of the Adriatic has faced a rising tide of a different sort: advertising. From the Doge's Palace to St. Mark's Square to the bittersweet Bridge of Sighs -- named for the grief its splendid views once inspired in crossing death row prisoners -- immense billboards lit late into the night now mar the city's most treasured places. Allegedly built to cover the cost of restoration work in the face of government cutbacks, the ads have brought in around $600,000 per year since 2008 -- a fraction of the shortfall -- and show no sign of going away any time soon. Their presence prompted a consortium of the world's leading cultural experts led by the Venice in Peril Fund to air an open letter demanding the city government put a stop to the placards that "hit you in the eye and ruin your experience of one of the most beautiful creations of humankind." Mayor Giorgio Orsoni, for one, was not moved, saying last year "If people want to see the building they should go home and look at a picture of it in a book."
posted by Rhaomi on Oct 4, 2011 - 59 comments

things

"We have assembled objects in the form of a human figure, objects of all types that we found here each day and selected for their form and color, to obtain a familial nucleus that is the unity through which the individual forms itself and develops its ability to live and realize itself in the world." Artworks by Dario Tironi. via iGNANT
posted by unliteral on Jun 8, 2011 - 4 comments

Honest-to-goodness, genuine fake

There are Real Fake Buildings, Real Fake Watches, real fake books, and of course, "The Internet's LARGEST Selection of Real Fake Rocks!" But for truly high-end fakes -- the "realest" of the fakes -- there's the Museum of Fakes in Southern Italy, or even better, the Museum of Art Fakes in Vienna, which includes etchings from "last living master forger from Germany." "The Museum of Art Fakes, almost directly opposite the Hundertwasserhaus, is unique in Europe. It is filled with paintings from not only world famous forgers (such as van Meegeren, Tom Keating, David Stein, Konrad Kujau, Edgar Mrugalla, Lothar Malskat), but also so-called ‘identical-forgeries’ of Schiele, Klimt, Monet, Raffael and many more."
posted by not_the_water on Jun 4, 2010 - 19 comments

Art of Noises

Luigi Russolo was a futurist painter, experimental composer, and instrument builder. In his 1913 manifesto "The Art of Noises" he declaimed the death of traditional Western music and foresaw the dawning of a new music based on the grinding, screeching, moaning, crackling and buzzing of mechanical instruments. He and his assistant Ugo Piatti built the Intonarumori to bring these new sounds - "the palpitation of valves, the coming and going of pistons, the howl of mechanical saws, the jolting of a tram on its rails, the cracking of whips, the flapping of curtains and flags" - to life. Listen to them, then and now.
posted by fire&wings on Oct 28, 2009 - 10 comments

Caravaggio and Rembrandt, two great tastes that go well together

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam invites you to compare Caravaggio and Rembrandt. For an overview of Rembrandt's work here are Rembrandt van Rijn: Life and Work and A Web Catalogue of Rembrandt Paintings. For Caravaggio there's caravaggio.com which makes use of the Italian website Tutta l'opera del Caravaggio.
posted by Kattullus on Aug 6, 2009 - 13 comments

Monstrous Scuplture Garden In Italy

In the town of Bomarzo in central Italy you will find Monster's Grove, a vast sculpture garden created in 1552 by Pier Orisini to be a unique & astonishing place. The scupltures are quite large, and some are carved directly into the bedrock; as the name might indicate, the subjects are mainly mythical creatures. For centuries, the stone was uncared for, and nature began to reclaim the art, until the 1970s when efforts began to preserve the pieces, and today it is a major tourist attraction, though still privately owned nearly five centuries in.
posted by jonson on Aug 13, 2007 - 20 comments

The Italian Futurist Book

The book is an account of the battle of Adrianopolis (Turkey) in 1912 in which the author volunteered as a Futurist-soldier.
Futurism (1909-1944) was perhaps the first movement in the history of art to be engineered and managed like a business.
posted by Meatbomb on Aug 2, 2007 - 14 comments

Uncompromising alternative

The art of Flavio Constantini. Naval officer turned anarchist Constantini (1926- ) paints rebels, martyrs, assassins, writers, and architecture, all with a special quality of light.
posted by Abiezer on Dec 23, 2006 - 4 comments

The real Da Vinci Code?

I know who brought Leonardo's greatest drawings to Britain. I may not be a Harvard professor of religious symbology or know much about the bloodline of the Magdalene, but I do enjoy a mystery and so I set out to solve this one. And I succeeded. Final proof is elusive, always, but in this case the circumstantial evidence is so overwhelming, I think I've got my man."
posted by Len on Aug 30, 2006 - 6 comments

River Art

Ahmad Nadalian's work can be found all over the world. He is an artist that carves symbols on rocks and then leaves them at the site where they were created (sometimes burying them).
posted by tellurian on Aug 2, 2006 - 7 comments

Giant pink bunny invades Italy.

A large pink rabbit will visit Italy for 20 years. Yet another controversial work of art by Gelitin from Vienna. (via Guardian)
posted by myopicman on Sep 22, 2005 - 40 comments

Museum of Seaside Bathing/Tourism

~Balnea~ Virtual Museum of Sea Bathing and Seaside Tourism
This beautiful and comprehensive Italian site records the development of human association with the sea from the 18th to the 20th century. Art works, posters and photographs display the evolving nature of seaside architecture, fashion, lifesaving, cafes/amusements, sun protection, pavillions and more. There are even vintage essays and partially digitized books (some are in english) as well as beach tunes (midi files) for those so-inclined. [site map] via
posted by peacay on Aug 4, 2005 - 3 comments

The ransack of Italy

The ransack of Italy is finally becoming big news. The Getty had a reputation for buying Italian antiquities of "uncertain provenance". It recently returned some treasures, but has remained in the market; it also kept the Morgantina Aphrodite. But, perhaps, not for much longer. Marion True, a senior curator there, has just been indicted by the Italian authorities "on criminal charges involving the acquisition of precious antiquities".
posted by andrew cooke on May 20, 2005 - 10 comments

Long Lost Leo

"Researchers have discovered the hidden laboratory used by Leonardo da Vinci for studies of flight and other pioneering scientific work in previously sealed rooms at a monastery next to the Basilica of the Santissima Annunziata, in the heart of Florence."
posted by ScottUltra on Jan 13, 2005 - 28 comments

When museums were cemetaries

Futurism and the Futurists is a comprehensive (but oddly self-promotional) website showcasing the ideas, biographies, and works of the Italian Futurists. Enjoy the painting, poetry, the fabulous theatre "sentesi," and of course, all those lovely manifestos.
posted by Pinwheel on Dec 20, 2002 - 15 comments

"World's largest and most complete private collection of eyeglasses"

"World's largest and most complete private collection of eyeglasses" Galleria Guglielmo Tabacchi in Padua, Italy, with objects dating back to " ..1285, when glasses were first created in Venice...". Check out Elton John's shades in Celebrities - he too belongs in the 13th century.
posted by Voyageman on Mar 14, 2002 - 2 comments

Italy privatizes its culture.

Italy privatizes its culture. At least that's what will happen when a bill turning management of all of its museums sails through the Parliament this week. Critics of the Berlesconi-driven measure say that trying to turn culture into a profit center is foolish as there are only a few attractions that make any money now.
posted by MAYORBOB on Dec 8, 2001 - 4 comments

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