Perth – Corsini Collection 2

Another personal family item from the Corsini Collection on show at the Art Gallery of Western Australia (see previous blog) is this book of watercolours by Amerigo Corsini who died in 1853 at the young age of 18.

Corsini Collection Watercolour Book


Perth – Corsini Collection

The Art Gallery of Western Australia in central Perth is holding an exhibition of paintings from the Palazzo Corsini in Florence, Italy. Along with some masterpieces by Caravaggio, Tintoretto and Botticelli, the exhibition also has some more personal items that belong to the Corsini family, including this late 19th century book with recipes that have been hand written by Antonietta Corsini.

Corsini Collection Recipe Book

Ferrara – Ariosto

Ludovico Ariosto, also from Ferrara, and from the same era as Savonarola (previous blog) had an entirely different outlook on life. He was a poet and playwright who first coined the word, “humanism”. He is most famous for the romantic epic poem, “Orlando Furiosa” which is a story of chivalric knights, but with fantasy elements, including a trip to the moon.
Ariosto’s house is now a small museum in Ferrara which is open Tuesday to Sunday and has free entry.

Ariosto Ferrara

Ferrara – Savonarola

Girolamo Savonarola (see previous blog) was born in Ferrara, Italy in 1452. He entered the Dominican order in Bologna in 1475 and in 1482 was sent to San Marco in Florence where he became a popular preacher, denouncing the worldliness of the church and the ruling Medicis. His tempestuous life is best known by readers of English through George Elliott’s novel, “Romola”.Savonorola Ferrara

Vasari – Florence

Today is the anniversary of the death of Italian author and artist, Giorgio Vasari, who died in 1574.

As we mentioned in a previous post, Vasari’s main claim to fame is as a writer. His book, “The Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors and Architects”, was published in 1550 and is still in print today.

Vasari was also the favourite architect of Cosimo I de Medici, designing the Uffizi Palace in Florence, and the Vasari Corridor which connects it to the Pitti Palace on the other side of the Arno. The 1km long Vasari Corridor features in Dan Brown’s novel, “Inferno”. The corridor can be visited on a guided tour.


Shakespeare – Verona

To celebrate the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare on 23 April, we have a post on the northern Italian city of Verona.

After London and Stratford-on-Avon, Verona is probably the next best place to connect with the famous bard. Although he probably never visited the city, three of Shakespeare’s plays are set in Verona: Romeo and Juliet, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, and The Taming of the Shrew.

Verona still retains a medieval atmosphere and the city has taken a best guess at what might have been Juliet’s home and opened it to tourists, so you can see the famous balcony. Juliet’s tomb can also be visited in the church of San Francesco.

We like the bust of Shakespeare which can be found on the mediaeval wall overlooking Verona’s famous Roman arena. Next to it is the following quote from Romeo and Juliet.

“There is no world without Verona walls, but purgatory, torture, hell itself, hence banished is banish’d from the world, and world’s exile is death.”

Shakespeare Verona

Luca Pacioli – Sansepolcro

Luca Pacioli, another famous mathematician and writer, was also born in Sansepolcro. He was a friend of Piero della Francesca, and used some of Piero’s ideas in a geometry book that he wrote called De Divina Proportione. Another friend, the famous Leonardo da Vinci, illustrated the book.

Luca Pacioli is most famous for his book of arithmetic and geometry that he wrote for students in schools in northern Italy. The book  contains the first published account of double entry bookkeeping as used by Venetian merchants in the 15th century, which led Pacioli to be known as the Father of Accounting.

Luca Pacioli was born in Sansepolcro in 1447 and died there in 1517. The town remembers him with a statue, erected for the 500th anniversary of his birth.

Luca Pacioli San Sepolcro

Piero della Francesca – Sansepolcro

Sansepolcro is a smallish town hidden away in the southeast corner of Tuscany. The easiest way to visit this interesting place is by train from Perugia, although there is also a bus from Arezzo.

Piero della Francesca (see previous post) was born and died in Sansepolcro and some of his paintings are on display in the civic museum. The town is also the birthplace of Matteo Cioni, who translated into Latin Piero della Francesca’s treatise on perspective.

In Sansepolcro there is a small park named after Piero della Francesca and a larger than life statue of him at the entrance.

Piero della Francesca San Sepolcro

Piero della Francesca – Arezzo

In his book, “The Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors and Architects”, Giorgio Vasari (see previous post) mentions the work of Piero della Francesca. A painter of the early Renaissance period, Piero della Francesca was also an accomplished mathematician, publishing several texts on geometry and perspective. His most famous work of art is a cycle of frescoes titled “The History of the True Cross” in the church of San Francesco in Arezzo.

Piero della Francesca Arezzo