books

Antonio Schiratti’s fantastic calligraphy

Here are a few samples from an Antonio Schiratti calligraphy manual, an outstanding contribution to a genre that had became popular in the late...

Giovanni Battista de Rossi and Rome’s catacombs

Roman archaeologist Giovanni Battista De Rossi (1822-1894) was a leading expert on Christian catacombs. Applying rigorous research methods in his work, he was able...

The Jacoroscopo: Jacovitti’s zodiac

Here is the “Jacoroscopo”, a horoscope by brilliant, Molise-born illustrator Benito Jacovitti (1923-1997). His crazy zodiac signs appeared on the “Diario Vitt” school diary published...

Animals by Ugo Mochi, the “Poet of Shadows”

Ugo Mochi (1889-1977) was a great Florentine sculptor and artist known all over the world for his wonderful paper silhouettes. He had a very early...

Grace and elegance in Carlo Antonini’s ceiling roses

Here is a gallery dedicated to ceiling roses by engraver and architect Carlo Antonini (1740-1821). Antonini himself collected these beautiful engravings – a selection of...

Filippo Buonanni and the harmonic Cabinet

Filippo Buonanni (or Bonanni) (1638-1725) was a Jesuit erudite from Rome, with a keen interest in physics and science, as well as music. He is...

Cambellotti’s “One Thousand and One Nights”: Art Nouveau and magic carpets

Around 1913, Duilio Cambellotti (1876-1960) created twenty tempera-on-cardboard paintings to illustrate the Orient’s famous short stories collected in “One Thousand and one Nights”, published...

Giulio Cesare Casseri and the wonders of the human body

Giulio Cesare Casseri (1552-1616) was a great Italian anatomist, who also wrote “with a pure stile that was certainly amazing in a man of...

Giovannino de’ Grassi and his animal notebook

Giovannino de’ Grassi (ca. 1350-1398) was a Milanese artist mostly known as the Duomo in Milan’s master builder and sculptor, as well as for...

How to cook for a 16th-century banquet: Bartolomeo Scappi

Bartolomeo Scappi (ca. 1500-1577) was a great Italian cook. Born in Dumenza, in the province of Varese, he worked at the service of various...

The Phlegraean Fields by sir William Hamilton and Pietro Fabris

From 1764 to the end of the 18th century, diplomat and archaeologist sir William Douglas Hamilton (1730-1803) was the British ambassador at the court...

Women in tango: music scores, gypsy violins, and kitsch dips

Here are the tango dancers portrayed on Italian scores in the first half of the 1900s, inspired by the Argentinian genre that was so...

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Rococo luxury at the Palazzina di Caccia of Stupinigi

The Palazzina di Caccia of Stupinigi, near Turin, was designed by Filippo Juvarra and built in 1729; between the 18th and 19th...

Pietro Piffetti: the king of fine cabinetry

by Barbara Palladino His creations sum up every magnificence of 18th-century Baroque style: Pietro Piffetti was one of the most famous and...

Gabinetto del Segreto Maneggio degli Affari di Stato: a triumph of decorative art

by Barbara Palladino Inside Turin’s Royal Palace is one of the gems of 18th-century Baroque art: the Gabinetto del Segreto Maneggio degli...

Antonio Stradivari: the legend and myth of perfect sound

by Barbara Palladino The Stradivarius violin is renowned as the perfect musical instrument. Playing one is a dream come true for any...