Art & Culture

Style by Modigliani

July 12 is the birth date of Italian Jewish artist and sculptor Amedeo Clemente Modigliani (Livorno, 12 July 1884 – Paris, 24 January 1920), whose life was unforgivably short but enriched with magic of art and dignity of style. His modern portraits and nudes with elongated faces and figures did not get a fair reception during…

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Sustainability of Living Heritage

In the heart of Valetta, the city which once was found by the Knights of the St John’s Order of Jerusalem, there is a beautiful 16th Century palace called Casa Rocca Piccola owned by a Maltese Noble family. The head of the family is the 9th Marquis de Piro, who lives in the palace with…

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The Simplicity of Roman Elegance

In 1881 an important archaeological site was accidentally discovered in a small town called Rabat and situated outside the gates of the old capital of Malta, Mdina. The discovery revealed outstanding Roman remains from the ancient city of Melite with some ruins, what must have been a sumptuous Roman house belonging to the first century…

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The Art of The Bookstore

Yesterday I was desperately looking for a bookstore with the official name “Island Books Malta” here in Gozo, which according to Facebook would have some older copies available. After walking through long streets with the sun at its peak, I could finally find the place. In Triq Birbuba in Gharb, village at the westernmost point…

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The “Antichrist of painting”

Three days on Gozo have made me ready for a date with no one else but Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571 – 1610). Tomorrow, if everything goes according to the plan, I will with my own eyes behold his ‘Beheading of St John the Baptist’, which he painted while settled on Malta. To Malta he…

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Lost in Taste

We are always talking about a “good” or “bad” taste, without giving any thought to the anthropological nature of the concept of taste. Nevertheless, taste has originally pure biological routes connected to human physiology, where both disgust and aversion have developed as a part of the evolution in association with something inedible. Human beings have…

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The Invention of the Modern Mega-artist

While looking for information on Yves Saint Laurent, I came across an artist called Bernard Buffet (1928-1999), whose fame at his 21 in 1949 was compared to Picasso’s. He was together with Pierre Bergé, before the latter left him for with Yves Saint Laurent. A man of great talent and one of the best post-war…

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The Enigma of Absurdity

A splendid gentleman, wearing a black cylinder hat and through a monocle pretentiously beholding a floating butterfly has, since his debut on the cover on February 21, 1925, become an inherent part of the New Yorker – it is the brand as such. The intricate male figure was created by the magazine’ s first art…

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Le Bateau-Lavoir – Noah’s Ark of Art

Le Bateau-Lavoir (“The Boat Wash-house”) was once a moldy old tenement in a shaded square in the Monmartre district of the 18th arrondissement of Paris, which has taken a prominent place in art history. Christened by the poet Max Jacob, the building became an anchored shelter for such artists and writers as Pablo Picasso, Otto…

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Depersonalization with Euphoric Touch by Gnoli

Fashion is a manifestation of a visible result achieved by means of an invisible process. It is about ephemeral nature of objects and details, meanwhile art is about eternalising such ephemerality. Domenico Gnoli (1933-1970), a Rome-born-artist, a son of an art historian and an artist, was one, who combined those two phenomena. He both created…

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A “Patriotic” Burglary of Mona Lisa

In 1911 the masterpiece by Leonardo da Vinci Mona Lisa, which once, soon after the French Revolution, hanged in Napoleon’s bedroom, was stolen from the Louvre: the enigmatic and slightly arrogant smile disappeared. The burglary caused a colossal stir and ample dismay. The French newspaper Le Matin offered “a reward of 5, 000 francs to any…

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