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Thursday, December 22nd, 2016
Mosaics   The method by which mosaics are made hasn't changed much since ancient times. Advancements in tools and materials have made the process easier, quicker, and the results more varied and visually appealing, but over all the process is the same. There are few written records of early mosaic techniques. The most comprehensive information regarding the creation of mosaic art was written around 77 A.D. by Pliny the Elder, a roman officer and encyclopedic. In the 36th volume of
Sunday, December 18th, 2016
archaeological museum chiusi
  Il Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Chiusi is a museum of great significance for the town and its surrounding area, which is known as ancient Etruria. Chiusi (Clevsin in Etruscan), together with eleven other towns and cities of Tuscany, is steeped in Etruscan history dating back to between the 9th and 1st century BC. Many Etruscan tombs and settlements have been discovered over the years, which contain amazingly well-preserved items today preserved in the museum of
Sunday, December 11th, 2016
Arab Norman Palermo UNESCO
Italy is the country with the highest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world. Here at Lifeinitaly, we have often dedicated articles to them, giving an overview of UNESCO sites in the North, the Centre and the South of the country, as well as dedicated articles to some of the most famous among them, such as the Archaeological area of Pompeii and Hercolaneum, the Savoia Palaces and many more.  Since July 2015, a new Italian jewel has entered the list: the breathtaking architectural
Tuesday, October 25th, 2016
Canova Self-portrait   Canova was an artist heavily influenced by the classical style of the ancient Greeks despite living in more modern times (1757-1822), and was able to merge this classicism with styles more typical to his own era. Originally from the north east of Italy, Canova artistically grew up in Venice. While still very young Canova decided to move to Rome, then capital of Italian art. The city was also a great place for inspiration: the great work of Bellini, who was widely
Thursday, October 20th, 2016
umberto boccioni
Umberto Boccioni is one of the most recognized Italian painters of the 20th century and his work is highly appreciated by critics. He was a "Futurist" and probably the most recognized name of the movement that, at the beginning of the  20th century, created a completely new vision of art in Italy.   The Laugh, 1911, Umberto Boccioni. Public Domain on wikimedia    The fortune of Umberto Boccioni was with no doubts the opportunity to travel and live all over Italy since a very young age, and
Wednesday, October 12th, 2016
Jack Vettriano - Singing Butler   Jack Vettriano (born 1951) is a remarkably inspired and accomplished contemporary artist of Italian and Scottish descent. Vettriano is known for his gentle touch and somehow surreal, but elegant use of color and the overall ambience in his work.   Although Vettriano did not have an artistic background, he began painting in his spare time and with dedication and talent made his hobby into a career. The artist's original work is highly priced, and the
Tuesday, October 11th, 2016
renato guttuso
Renato Guttuso (Ph. public domain on wikipedia)   A true Sicilian and a strong communist, Renato Guttuso was above all one of the most famous Italian artists of modern times. Guttuso came from a wealthy upper middle class family, but soon in his life opted for a very radical, left wing political position.   He was born in Bagheria, the Sicilian city brought on to the screen by Giuseppe Tornatore's film only a few years ago. Since his youth, art and politics became his companions, but it was
Tuesday, May 24th, 2016
toledo underground naples
In Italy, art is alive, it is something to be seen and enjoyed every day.  Something to live not only in museums, but also during everyday's rush and routine. This is the philosophy underlying the building of what has been defined by the Daily Telegraph as the "most impressive underground railway station in Europe:" the Toledo underground station in Naples. The list, created to outline the 22 most beautiful underground stations in Europe, is topped by this unique, all Italian example of modern
Friday, April 22nd, 2016
deruta ceramics
In a spacious room enhanced by sunlight, Delia Binaglia methodically adds brushstrokes of color to a fired piece of pottery. Her details are the final touches learned from the antique tradition of majolica ceramics, practiced in the Umbrian town of Deruta. Binaglia, and her husband Antonio Ranocchia, have been creating ceramics for over 60 years, and are the founders of the ceramic factory Maoliche Originali Deruta (MOD), now managed by their children Ivan and Grazia.   The town of
Tuesday, April 19th, 2016
fresco art
See Also out image gallery at : Italian Fresco   Our fast paced commercialized world has left us over stimulated and exhausted. The effect can even be seen in the type of art we surround ourselves with. Popular art today are vibrant, chaotic, displays of color and line. Many modern works are loud and brazen compositions designed to tickle the eyes and stimulate the already overworked senses. At the same time art is being hastily or mass produced and any assortment of found objects glued
Tuesday, April 19th, 2016
sicily maiolica
While the true origins of ceramic are oft debated and still unknown, we can say with certainty that the traditional maiolica style of ceramics is a style born in Sicily that is now renowned the world over.   Maiolica decorated stairs in Sciacca, Sicily. Ph. Annabe2008 on flickr (   An Old Tradition Ceramics appeared for the first time in Sicily in the 6th century B.C. At this time ceramic pieces were used for functional reasons and appeared in simple shapes
Wednesday, April 13th, 2016
St. John the Baptist by Caravaggio   Caravaggio, or Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, was born in 1571. He is considered the master of light, one of the few painters who with his brush and his strokes was able to capture the essence of light like only Mother Nature could. He was born in Milan and after a period of training in his native town he transferred to Rome, historically more of an art city than Milan, and clearly in high demand for artists and their work.   Caravaggio's qualities
Thursday, April 7th, 2016
leonardo da vinci last supper
The Last Supper by Leonardo   Among religious subjects, The Last Supper has been a favorite inspiration for many works of art, and numerous are the great masters who addressed this theme in some of their best known masterpieces. As far back as in the times of the early Christians, there were pictorial representations of the meal that could be found in the catacombs of Rome. These representations gave an idea of the atmosphere that existed in an ancient dining hall. A later
Wednesday, April 6th, 2016
Andrea Mantegna
  Probably not as famous as Michelangelo or Leonardo, Andrea Mantegna is just as talented and artistically important for the history of italian art. He lived in the 15th century and he was with no doubt a master of perspective, a constant in his work and a characteristic of his talent, which began to develop at a young age at Francesco Squarcione's workshop.   Andrea Mantegna: The Adoration of the Magi (wikipedia, public domain)   The man, who was a known artist in Padova, transmitted to young
Thursday, March 31st, 2016
early renaissance art
Lorenzo Ghiberti Pannel from the Gate of Paradise by Lorenzo Ghiberti, Low Renaissance artist.  Ph. Ricardo André Frantz on Wikimedia   Lorenzo Ghiberti was born in Florence Italy in 1381 as Lorenzo di Bartolo. His father was Bartoluccio Ghiberti, a trained artist and goldsmith who taught his son the gold trade early on in life. Like Brunelleschi he was trained as a goldsmith in Florence by Bartoluccio de Michele. Ghiberti was an adept artist, writer, architect, and humanist
Sunday, March 20th, 2016
The Mourning of Christ by Giotto. Ph. Wikimedia, public domain   Simply one of the greatest painters in history, Giotto was able to literally bring art to a whole new dimension, introducing the concept of perspective. He is considered by many to be the first in a line of artists to contribute to the Italian Renaissance.   He was born sometime in the mid-thirteenth century, and his beginnings were promising; the famous Italian painter Cimabue found Giotto drawing a sheep on a rock with such
Monday, February 15th, 2016
renaissance art michelangelo
The Premier Artists of the Italian High Renaissance   The Italian High Renaissance is the defining movement in our art history. No other artistic movement has contributed more to development of art as a whole. Before the Italian Renaissance artists held the same position in society as any other skilled craftsmen and were given as much respect as carpenters and goldsmiths. But, in the 1400's this all changed. A new revolution in art opened the eyes of the world to the glory of the
Friday, January 8th, 2016
italian women artists
Lavinia Fontana Italian Women Artists: Lavinia Fontana, self-portrait   Lavinia Fontana was born in 1552 in Bologna. Her father, Prospero Fontana, was an accomplished Mannerist painter who trained his daughter diligently in the arts. It was fortunate that Fontana was born in Bologna. At the time of her birth Bologna was a cultural epicenter of art and academics not only for men, but for women as well. Through her father's teachings Lavinia developed a talent for painting
Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015
la gioconda
La Gioconda: mystery, regret and controversy behind the painting One of the greatest paintings of Italian art is certainly La Gioconda, Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece.  The painting, better known abroad as "Monna Lisa" ("Monna" is the abbreviation for Madonna and corresponds to the current term "woman") is kept in the museum of the Louvre in Paris. This 77 x 53 cm painting is unsigned, but it is sure the work was painted by the Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci in
Saturday, December 12th, 2015
italian women artists
During the fifteen and sixteenth centuries women held little authority as artists in Italy or in the rest of the world. It was often believed that women could not achieve true artistic vision because of their perceived lack of intelligence, character, and strength. They were barred from art academies and dissuaded from taking up painting or sculpture. Women were encouraged to stick to more feminine duties like cooking, cleaning, and child bearing. Those who didn't were perceived as wanton or
Wednesday, December 9th, 2015
Famous Italian Female Artists
There are very few women artists from the past that we know of. Miss-attribution of works by women was a common phenomenon. Since women received little in the way of recognition or compensation for their work even the most talented of them often vanished into obscurity. Their lives and achievements were quickly forgotten by their male counterparts in the art world. Often women faced discrimination by other artists, and their work received little in the way of praise merely because of
Saturday, October 3rd, 2015
giorgio vasari
Giorgio Vasari was born in Arezzo, Tuscany on July 3, 1511. He was an architect and painter, known also for his biographical writings, Vite (Lives), dedicated to the lives and work of several great names of Italian art. To most people, however, Vasari remains the name of the architect who ideated the Uffizi gallery and large parts of Palazzo Vecchio, in Florence.    Giorgio Vasari: self portrait (wikimedia)   His life and work When Vasari was young, he
Saturday, October 3rd, 2015
Etruscan art
Who the Etruscans Were and Why Their Art is Important D.H. Lawrence, in his witty essay Etruscan Places written in 1929, explains that "the Etruscans, as everyone knows, were the people who occupied the middle of Italy in early Roman days, and whom the Romans, in their usual neighborly fashion, wiped out entirely." Etruscan art before D.H. Lawrence's essay had generally been viewed as a debased form of Greek art. Lawrence described the general feeling toward Etruscan art: "most
Tuesday, August 25th, 2015
  Have you ever wondered what Romans used to do in their spare time? Where would Roman Senators and nobility go during the hot, summer months? They all fled to Rome's best-kept secret, a place called Stabiae.   The peristyle of Villa San Marco at Stabiae (f.tronchin/flickr)   Located on a panoramic bluff overlooking the Bay of Naples, only three miles from its famous neighbors Pompeii and Herculaneum, lies Stabiae, a little known jewel in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius
Friday, May 29th, 2015
restoration italian monuments
  The Trevi Fountain under Restoration. Ph. Ansa   When I saw the Trevi Fountain in March this year (2015), its statues looked miserable behind scaffolding, and there was no gushing water. According to tradition, visitors who want to return to the Eternal City throw three coins into the Trevi Fountain, but who wants to toss coins into it when it is empty? Many disappointed tourists have complained about the length of the works, which will keep the fountain empty until October. Some have even
Saturday, March 28th, 2015
renaissance art
  The Italian low Renaissance marks a pivotal time in art history when Italy shifted from the Gothic style of the Middle Ages to the Renaissance style that the world is now familiar with. The change in technique was well received by the new ruling class. As Italy began to recover from the economic chaos of the Middle Ages wealthy, independent, city-states became fiercely competitive in their attempts to draw the best and brightest artists and thinkers to their local. A new class of
Saturday, July 12th, 2014
Botticelli: Birth of Venus   "If Botticelli were alive now he'd be working for Vogue", the famous actor, Peter Ustinov once remarked. This may be true, but the beauty and delicate details of this great Renaissance artist's paintings will always be admired by critics and the public alike. The Primavera and The Birth of Venus, both visible at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, are probably his best known works.    Sandro Botticelli, whose real name was
Wednesday, July 18th, 2012
MAXXI: The First National Museum Dedicated to Architecture in Italy. For those who associate Italy with ancient art and architecture alone, the MAXXI, National Museum of 21st Century Arts, in Rome will come as quite a surprise. The building itself is a revolutionary design by architect Zaha Hadid and it the exhibits it houses are examples of contemporary art and architecture from the 20th and 21st centuries. The MAXXI is not just an innovation in architecture by design but is also,
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Click on the Image below for an art vacation tour: Our Italian art section is a combination of articles describing various periods of Italian art and a series of offerings by living Italian artists and craft persons. We select our Italian artists and company very carefully. To be offered by Life in Italy the art works and craft must be made by hand in Italy. Moreover the art selected are traditional Italian arts representing hundreds and in some cases thousands of years of history.
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Visit Italian Frescoes for more pictures of the paintings and procedures Venetian PlasterVenetian plaster, or Venetian stucco, has been used for centuries around the world, in homes and offices, on architectural masterpieces and in everyday buildings. Architects and interior designers, home-owners and artists, all have marveled at the distinctive beauty of this highly popular form of wall surfacing, and throughout the ages the artisans who were skilled at creating such beauty have been
Friday, June 1st, 2012
  Ancient Christian Mosaic Mosaic art has been around since two thousand B.C. and can be found sporadically in many cultures across the globe. In Rome mosaic art enjoyed a great deal of popularity and remains of such works can still be found through out what was once the Roman Empire. Mosaics were so popular among the Romans that they can be found in many ancient Roman homes. Mosaics could be purchased ready-made "off the shelf" in a variety of predetermined designs. Those who could afford
Friday, June 1st, 2012
More Pictures from Gregorius Maltzeff Click here to see part I of this article Click here to see Part II
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Futurism began as a literary movement, established by poet and propagandist, Filippo Tomaso Marinetti in 1908. Marinetti's manifestos called for the destruction of public establishments, such as libraries, museums, academies, and the cities themselves. Young intellectuals flocked to the heels of his radical ideologies. Enamored by his desire to bring about true anarchy as a means of revitalizing Italy's then stagnant culture, they began an artistic movement whose far reaching influences would
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Contemporary art junkies can get their fix at Milan's sleek new Bovisa Triennale center. Take a short ride on the metro from the center of Milan and you arrive in Bovisa, an up and coming industrial neighborhood for artists to work and play. This 2500 square meter mega center is devoted entirely to contemporary living. Browse through the compound of galleries featuring emerging artists' controversial paintings, designer furniture, and video installations for a mere 6 euro entrance fee.
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Art critic Nicholas Bok from the Havard Club in San Francisco befriended Maltzeff in Italy. He described him as; a humble man who never allowed his great knowledge to go to his head. In 1921 Maltzeff was shocked by a surprise visit to his studio by the Grand Duchess Victoria (sister of the Russian Emperor) and her husband the Prince of Battenburg (Milford's Haven). In her relish for what she witnessed there in the studio, she confidently assigned the young artist to a task in making sacred
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Deruta is identified as one of the top manufacturing centers of artistic majolica ceramics. The earliest record regarding this expression of art dates back to 12 August 1290, and testifies a payment "in kind" against "unam saumam vasorum". That was the archaic period during which objects of common usage were manufactured: beakers, basins, bowls, "panate", meagrely decorated, mainly with geometric and animal patterns. The prevailing colours are green "ramina" and manganese brown. During the
Friday, June 1st, 2012
The destruction of the Campo Santo in Pisa brought tears to Deane Keller's eyes. Pieces of the famous frescoes lay on the floor and the roof had been torn off by Allied bombing. Painstakingly, he started picking up fragments of the frescoes and deciding how the restoration work should be carried out. Deane Keller, who had studied art in Italy, was one of the monuments men who helped to save and restore Italian art during World War Two after the Allies landed in the country. These courageous
Friday, June 1st, 2012
A Brief History of Micro Mosaics Micro mosaic in Salty Filati is a prestigious, antique technique that developed in Rome between the XVI and XVII centuries. Since 1727 it was used by Mosaic Masters from REVERENDA FABBRICA DI SAN PIETRO in Vatican City. It was probably invented by the mosaic master Giacomo Raffaelli, one of the most important mosaic artist living between 1700 and 1800. Originated in 16th century, it was an attempt to become independent from Venice, which had been the centre of
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Gregorius Maltzeff (1881-1953) was an internationally well-known and appreciated Russian artist who was born in Talashmanovo along the river in western Russia-the Volga. He was born on the 27th of November,1881. Gregorius's story began at the age of 16, a time in his life that proved to be the most gruelling time in his entire life. He enrolled in the military with the Fluvial Navigational School where he met the Nobel brothers; (whose family instituted the famous Nobel Prize). The south-
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Italian Art Through The Ages Michelangelo Creation of Adam From the earliest times, Italians have left their mark on every major artistic movement in the Western World. From Etruscan bronzes to the flowing lines of Baroque churches and everything in between, Italian artistry is world-renown. In this section, learn about Italian masters, their groundbreaking methods and their priceless works that still inspire awe and wonder. Our Italian art section is a combination of articles describing
Friday, June 1st, 2012
Ravenna is the home to many other great mosaic works from the same time period including those found in the Arian Baptistery, which were installed by the Roman Emperor Zeno, in 5th century. Archbishop Andrea's palace chapel of San Andrea also hosts some fantastic mosaic works as well as the San Vitale basilica in Ravenna. The most thrilling aspect of these mosaics is the placement of the actual stones. Often the stones of wall mosaics were set at a slight angel. By lying the stones at different