Sunday, January 16, 2011

Due Ragazza e Due Musei

Giambattista Piranesi (Venice 1720 - Rome 1778)

A visit to the Piranesi exhibition on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore which is closing this week is first on our list today, and we get down to the Riva degli Schiavoni to get a vaporetto over to the isola.

If you look closely, the giant banner is visible.

We arrived at the isola and rushed to the exhibit hall to see the show.  The interior of the hall was extremely dark with the drawings displayed in little light and  new objects highlighted, a chiaro-scurio display of Piranesi works.

a Capriccio.
This exhibit seems to have Piranesi's complete drawings, a massive display of Capriccio, Prisons, and Archeology.  While we think of Piranesi as the master of the vision of being lost in an architectural hell- his fabulous Prison series, it turns out that by spending so much time and interest in recording exactly what he found in Rome and Paestum and other ancient locations, that he is the father of archeology.

An elegant in situ view of the construction of a Roman wall and arches.
There were a great many of these technical engravings, but the light was very low and you can see the quality of the photos are as well.

After the drawings, and a sophisticated movie which digitized the Prison series allowing the viewer to move through them all in a combined Piranesian world, we moved to objects...and it took a while to comprehend that these were real new objects, created from Piranesi  drawings, through 3D digitizing and fabrication.

This is a true size model of a fireplace design by Piranesi with its wall design.  In this light, as one walks into the room, it was difficult to fully understand what I was looking at, because, actually, this stuff was never actually made.  It became clear, after reading,  that this part of the exhibition was newly created objects and devices that Piranesi had designed and drawn as part of his studies.  
This is an amazing concept, it was developed by Michele De Lucchi together with Factum Arte , Madrid laboratory of Adam Lowe.  

il Cafe degli Inglese

Piranesi lived in Rome while he was engraving his work, and was a great friend of Robert Adam and others in the English community there in the 1760's.   The English had a coffee house where they gathered and talked, and Adam got Piranesi to decorate it.  Using the Egyptian imagery he was studying, Piranesi redid the cafe.  it was very popular.  It has been reinvented in this show.  

Piranesi's drawing of caffe degli inglese above and Le studente below

E rivedersi a il caffe degli inglese.....

The objects  created from drawings are even more amazing, as shown below the gallery and the drawings from which the  urn  and tripod table with alabaster top were created.

This is an overwhelming exhibit with its powerful vision of Piranesi's work.

 Even a coffee pot designed from sea shells was created...

This must be the first slow food 'must have'....

We left the show and spent time checking out the boats in the little yacht harbor on the island.

Then, on the way back to catch a vaporetto on the Fondementa di San Giorgio...
we get a chance to recreate a painting.

maybe with attentive characters.

Poi noi andiamo a la casa di Carlo Goldoni...
the Shakespeare of Italy.

In the casa there are several great  Murano chandeliers

which are most festive.

As well as the puppet theatre from the Ca' Rezonnico.

Marionettes feature large in Venice.   It stems from an Istrian pirate raid in Castello on 31 January 944, when a group of pirates attacked a wedding party, and stole all 12 brides... the Venetians sailed after them, caught them and returned with the brides..on the 2nd of February, the Festa di Marie.  Sometime after that they began making  manikins of the 12 to be paraded at the annual Festa.  The brides were referred to as le Marie and the large dolls were referred to as Marione.  Merchants began having small models of the Marione made for sale at the Festa di Marie, and those -dolls- began to be know as Marionette.  The Marionette began to be used in little bible story plays, and others, such as Punchinello.  The beginnings of the Punch and Judy shows.  The origin of the Marionette, right here in Castello.

The Casa Goldini shows the parts of the 18th century marionette...

As well as fully dressed in the costume of the time.  I was only allowed one photograph here, so we better move along

In case anyone is interested, Ticklepuss is a member of the Burattino family. 

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