italy

Titian – the Sun Amidst Small Stars

Titian – the Sun Amidst Small Stars

On August 27, 1576, Italian painter Tiziano Vecelli, better known as Titian, passed away. The most important member of the 16th-century Venetian school, he was recognized by his contemporaries as “The Sun Amidst Small Stars“. Titian was one of the most versatile of Italian painters, equally adept with portraits, landscape backgrounds, and mythological and religious subjects. His painting methods, particularly in the application and use of colour, would exercise a profound influence…
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The Mona Lisa is Missing – Stealing the World’s Most Famous Painting

The Mona Lisa is Missing – Stealing the World’s Most Famous Painting

On August 21, 1911 during intensive repair and renovation work the Louvre Museum in Paris realized that Leonardo Da Vinci‘s [2] most famous painting, the Mona Lisa, was stolen. Who is the Women in the Picture? The Mona Lisa most likely is the most popular painting in the world. The painting’s title Mona Lisa stems from a description by Italian art critique Giorgio Vasari,[3] who wrote biographies of famous contemporary Renaissance men: “Leonardo undertook to paint,…
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Giorgio Vasari and his Foundations of Art-Historical Writing

Giorgio Vasari and his Foundations of Art-Historical Writing

On July 30, 1511, Italian Renaissance painter, architect, writer and historian Giorgio Vasari was born. He is best known today for his Lives of the Most Eminent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects, considered the ideological foundation of art-historical writing. One of the Lesser Known Renaissance Artists From all the great Renaissance artist, Giorgio Vasari might be one of the lesser known. The reason for this might be that although an artist of considerable…
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Elena Cornaro Piscopia – About the Difficulties to Receive a PhD in a Male Dominated Academia

Elena Cornaro Piscopia – About the Difficulties to Receive a PhD in a Male Dominated Academia

On June 25, 1678, Venetian philosopher of noble descent Elena Cornaro Piscopia, was the first woman to receive a Doctor of Philosophy degree. An extraordinary Child Elena Cornaro Piscopia was the fifth of seven children of the procurator of San Marco (Sestiere di Venezia), Gianbattista Corner, and his later wife Zanetta Boni. Her intellectual ability was noticed early, wherefore the local priest encouraged her family to enable Piscopia a formal education. She was then…
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Lucrezia Borgia – Femme Fatale or Political Tool?

Lucrezia Borgia – Femme Fatale or Political Tool?

On June 24, 1519, Lucrezia Borgia, the daughter of Pope Alexander VI, and Vannozza dei Cattanei, passed away. Lucrezia’s family later came to epitomize the ruthless Machiavellian politics and sexual corruption alleged to be characteristic of the Renaissance Papacy. Lucrezia was cast as a femme fatale, a role she has been portrayed as in many artworks, novels, and films. The extent of her complicity in the political machinations of her family is…
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Giacomo Casanova and his Underestimated Literary Legacy

Giacomo Casanova and his Underestimated Literary Legacy

On June 4, 1798, Italian adventurer and author Giacomo Girolamo Casanova passed away. Although being famous or almost notorious because of his frequent and elaborate love affairs, he also is considered to be a brilliant author. His autobiography ‘Histoire de ma vie‘ (The Story of my Life), is regarded as one of the most authentic sources of the customs and norms of European social life during the 18th century. Being associated with European…
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Pico della Mirandola and the 900 Theses

Pico della Mirandola and the 900 Theses

On February 24, 1463, Italian Renaissance philosopher Count Giovanni Pico della Mirandola was born. He is famous for, when at the age of 23, he proposed to defend 900 theses on religion, philosophy, natural philosophy and magic against all comers, for which he wrote the famous Oration on the Dignity of Man, which has been called the “Manifesto of the Renaissance“, and a key text of Renaissance humanism and of what has…
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The Galileo Affair

The Galileo Affair

On February 13, 1633, Galileo Galilei arrived in Rome and was brought before the inquisitor Vincenzo Maculani to be charged for his defence of the Copernican theory in his writings. In the course of the trial, Galilei was found guilty and sentenced to house arrest for the rest of his life. All in all, Galileo is a frequent guest in our blog. Besides his life, we have already reported about his astronomical…
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Giovanni Palestrina and the Beauty of Polyphony

Giovanni Palestrina and the Beauty of Polyphony

On February 2, 1594, Italian Renaissance composer of sacred music Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina passed away. He is the best-known 16th-century representative of the Roman School of musical composition and has had a lasting influence on the development of church music. His work has often been seen as the culmination of Renaissance polyphony. The Origins of Polyphony The origins of polyphony are assumed in the European vocal music of the late Medieval Era.…
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Federico Fellini – Realist of the Fantastic

Federico Fellini – Realist of the Fantastic

On January 20, 1920, Italian film director and screenwriter Federico Fellini was born. Known for his distinct style that blends fantasy and baroque images with earthiness, he is recognized as one of the greatest and most influential filmmakers of all time. “All art is autobiographical; the pearl is the oyster’s autobiography.” — Federico Fellini, in The Atlantic (December 1965) Early Years Federico Fellini was the first of three children to be born…
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