Poor Art Museum

By Italia Liberty

The Poor Art Museum in Sogliano al Rubicone, in the province of Forlì-Cesena, was established in the 2000s within the fascinating setting of the eighteenth-century Palazzo Ripa-Marcosanti.There are over a thousand artistic properties: it is all art erroneously defined as secondary, and which at the end of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries occupied the representation of postcards as well as newspapers that at that time dealt with art.The chromolithography printing (chromocolor, lithopietra, grafiastampa), represented a beauty that was in the dreams of all social groups. It is not surprising that in a very simple cardboard - practically a postcard - a magnificent drawing of Mucha, Klimt, Kiernerk, Grasset, Dudovich, Vucetich, Cambellotti, Kirkner and many others is depicted.Another sector of the Museum of Arte Povera is that of artfully packed books: here they can admire facsimiles. The public is delighted by the beauty and uniqueness of these two art volumes whose cover is a piece of carved Carrara marble. Here one can tell the work of Canova, in the other that of Michelangelo.Unlike most international museums, the Arte Povera museum allows the visitor to consult the documents on display in white gloves. An emotional journey back in time under the expert guidance of Roberto Parenti, the main soul who has given identity - with works of art he owns - to this fairytale dream within the walls of a palace, which preserves priceless masterpieces of art international.On one occasion, the emeritus director of the Vatican Museums, Antonio Paolucci, was struck by the history of the place and his works, defining the collection of the Museum of Arte Povera "a small Malatesta Library".Let yourself be enveloped by this atypical Romagna adventure with a visit to the Museo d'Arte Povera, where you can admire masterpieces that have narrated artistic movements such as Liberty, Art Nouveau, Futurism and Art Deco for images.

The Perugina-Buitoni figurines

France, 1865. The historic rue de Sèvres, one of the oldest Parisian streets, is a lively and everlasting merry-go-round of passers-by, a shouting crowd directed at a fast pace towards the Au Bon Marchè, the historic department store owned by the good old Aristide Boucicaut. A composite clientele, of course, but, above all on Thursday, a battalion of corpulent housewives with offspring emerge. Not a random day on Thursday, given that, at the time, the young students could enjoy an afternoon of vacation from the school desks. It is precisely on one of these Parisian Thursdays of 1865 that the modern history of figurines had its beginning. It is among the shelves full of goods from the Au Bon Marchè warehouses that the typical expression Celò, I miss, may have been pronounced for the first time. Collectibles were born. The idea of ​​the shrewd Boucicaut, a corpulent merchant in one piece, was in fact somewhat simple in his genius: increase visits to his warehouses by leveraging on that group of customers, the children, more corruptible. Every Thursday afternoon, any purchase was accompanied by the gift of a colored figurine, with the promise of adding a new one the following week. Success. Boucicant's example immediately found a large group of imitators, among which, to emerge, the Liebig's extract of meat company, a company specialized in the trade of canned meat that immediately gave the most famous and long-lived collection of stickers in history such. Born in 1872 and ended in 1975, it can count the beauty of eleven thousand published subjects, with some series listed today at more than decent prices. Elevated. It's Italy? Despite some haggard specimens exported from France and Germany as early as the end of the nineteenth century, it will take a few decades to witness the explosion of the phenomenon. Only in 1937, Italy would in fact be crossed by a real figurine obsession. The hunt for Ferocious Saladin could be said to have begun."The satire contained in this kind of musical grotesque has now lost most of its relevance, following the equalitarian dispositions on the figurines and therefore has a historical flavor. But the memory of the saladinic fever that crossed the peninsula a year ago is still like this I live that those who were affected, will not fail to taste the references to the epidemic with which the film is full "So wrote the journalist Sandro De Feo in his commentary on Il Feroce Saladino, the '37 film shot by Mario Bonnard and with Angelo Musco in the lead role. A grotesque comedy about the emptiness of success and the inevitable fading of fame and youth. Forced to quit the role of artist, the illusionist Pompeo Darly finds himself selling chocolate, candy during those theatrical performances that had once seen him in the guise of undisputed sovereign. In the chocolate packs sold by him, however, some examples of Ferocious Saladin come out, giving way to the abandonment of any inhibitory brake by the public present. Not a mere cinematographic fantasy, but pure truth, a fragment of a life really lived ... As pointed out by De Feo, Italy, in that 1937, had been really crossed by a full-scale figurine hunt ... A collector's frenzy that would have been difficult never again unleashed. The epic of Ferocious Saladin began with the radio program I Quattro Moschettieri. Written by Aldo Spagnoli, the broadcast was nothing more than a radio play, sung and recited, committed to bringing on stage a rather original version of The Three Musketeers of Dumas. Original because stuffed, with a clear comic intent, with an avalanche of other characters who had never had anything to do with the great classic of literature: from Harlequin to Stanlio and Olio, from Pierino to Friend Giorgio. The first example of a sponsored program, The Four Musketeers had had the support of Buitoni-Perugina, a large Italian food company that had tied a competition based on the collection of a hundred stickers distributed within its product packs. Collected all one hundred, sent to the appropriate album, the user could then choose four articles as a gift:- An illustrated book, The Four Musketeers, based on the adventures of the radio program of the same name.- A kilo of Perugina cocoa.- A box of chocolates, almonds or Perugina candies.- An assorted pack of Buitoni specialties (for pasta lovers, of course).But the offer did not end here. Just for nothing. With a hundred and fifty complete albums, the prize would have gone far beyond the simple food package. No more candies, chocolate and spaghetti, but a Mickey Mouse in rubber and sheet metal, that model of Fiat 500 made its debut in dealerships just the year before, the '36, and immediately became part of every Italian's dream. The legend would have delivered about two hundred of them. And the Ferocious Saladin? Due to a delay in the delivery of the sketches by Angelo Bioletto, designer of the entire series, only a few copies of the figurine had been printed. Finding the Ferocious Saladin thus became more unique than rare ... So rare and sought after that the police forces had even found themselves forced to hunt down real counterfeiters supported by compliant printers. No longer counterfeiters of banknotes, but of stickers ... The Buitoni-Perugina collection had enjoyed such vast success that its stickers had even been used in some cases as a bargaining chip for normal daily shopping ... Another look at the Bonnard film, and everything now seems more sensible. It was the Italy of Ferocious Saladin.While in '37, in response to the chaos accrued following the rarity of the Ferocious Saladin, the Ministry of Corporations found itself forced to promulgate a special law that required to print the same number of copies for any other possible future competition, The four musketeers exhaled the last breath of life. It was March. In fact, the fascist regime seemed no more than the idea of ​​enduring that radio transmission which, in his opinion, was so little nationalist and contrary to the spirit of autarky, inclined as it was to bring on stage all that parade of characters who went to fetch beyond the Alps , with an eye to those musketeers literary cornerstone of a France that had just voted (and wanted) the economic sanctions against an Italy by the international community just punished for its expansionism in Ethiopia.The hunt for Ferocious Saladin, with its folkloristic parables of an all-Italian madness, is one of the last regurgitations of carefree and superficial vitality of a people who, after three years, will be violently pushed into the arms of a bloody and useless war . The Ferocious Saladin will really have something to unsheathe the saber.Article courtesy of "Casa del Cappellaio Matto"


It is a method that developed in 1837 starting from lithography (the latter experimented by the German Aloys Senefelder in 1796). It consists in drawing figures with a particular fat pencil on a stone matrix. After treating the surface of the lithographic plate with an acid solution, proceed by moistening the matrix after which it is inked, using a leather or rubber roller. The oil-based ink adheres only to the strokes drawn with the fat pencil, while it is rejected by the wet surface of the stone. In the subsequent printing phase only the ink that has adhered to the drawing is imprinted on the sheet of paper. For each different color a different matrix is ​​needed. Thanks to chromolithography it is therefore possible to use many colors, faster, with greater shades and much brighter tones. In the early days, chromolithographs were without writing and were used as decoration of objects (furniture, boxes, fans and containers of various products). Printed images were often cut out and used for various pastimes (for example, to decorate albums and notebooks).From the second half of the nineteenth century, chromolithographic images began to appear printed on sheets or cards that advertise, with various writings, the product to be sold. The first series of Liebig figurines issued since 1872 are still famous in the collection field. The production of the cartoon was often entrusted to artists of the period, while the printing phase was carried out with chromolithographic techniques up to 12 colors. At the beginning of the twentieth century this technique was (in principle) abandoned with the spread of photography. But it didn't happen so abruptly. Even until the early sixties, small handcrafted lithographic printing works that used the last engravers or lithographers survived in the Italian suburbs. In the history of chromolithography, the first great master was Jules Chéret. He brought this technique from the experimental level to that of a real art form. Indeed, Chéret did not simply create colored versions of the classic black and white lithographs, but was the first to manage to bend the process for the purpose of painting.

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It is an ancient proverb of the Venetian peasant tradition and reaffirms the ancestral Anglo-Saxon belief that in mid-February the birds chose their partner to nest together ... And since February 14 is the day that marks the middle of that month, and the liturgy Christian assigned that day to the cult of Valentine's Day, the saint in question found himself ex officio, loving protector of lovers without a shot being hurt. The festival that celebrates love is equally ancient and has its roots in the times of imperial Romanity, in the Lupercalia: the miracle ceremonies of the spring transferred to female fertility therefore to love, which were celebrated on February 15th and were originally dedicated to Pan, the shepherd god and the Luperco faun.The ceremonies of the Lupercalia implied a special one dedicated to Juno consisting of drawing lots of names of pueri and puellae designated to form pairs that would remain so for the following year, which according to the Roman calendar began in March. The couple would have exchanged pawns of love and he would have filled her with careful and loving protection throughout the year. At the end of the Middle Ages, Valentine's Day and his rite in love were already well established in England where there was a use among "lovers" to exchange gifts for the occasion which were obviously called valentines. At the court of Queen Elizabeth i of England (1558-1603) the valentines for the ladies were gifts above all of gloves and socks, still devoid of malicious connotations at that time and Valentine was called the more or less designated amorous suitor, who could give like valentine the promise ring. At the end of the eighteenth century, and more precisely around 1760, the expensive gifts for the Valentine's Day were gradually replaced by symbolic gifts, by loving letters and sonnets and by engraved, watercolored, carved sheets of canivet - the secularization of devotional holy pictures also carved in parchment - always artifacts and manuscripts.From these descend the valentines that have become very popular in England and Holland, set sail for America and for the English colonies, increasing the romantic feelings of the English-speaking populations, two centuries later, they would constitute the refined topic of a specialist paper collection. The golden age of their production and their spreading spans from the mid-nineteenth century until about the thirties of the twentieth century - especially in the United States later - following the evolution of the paper industry, of the figures in chromolithography, punches for openwork papers and when, in the nineties of the nineteenth century, the technique for the production of pop-up books was also developed - the publisher Schreiber in Germany was the first to publish, in 1887, Der Internationaler Circus, by Lothar Meggendorf - they spread like wildfire, fantastic pop up valentines, dishes when closed that open like a theater with up to five very ornate and colorful wings. The first local and secret distribution - the girls were at home and the young men left their tickets in the special box left outside the door - expanded exponentially when in 1840 the issue of the 1 penny stamp by the United Kingdom post office allowed the mass shipment of anonymous love messages in the days immediately preceding the fateful date. And still in the middle of the Victorian era, when the valentines reached the peak of popularity, kept in equally decorated envelopes they ceased to be the privileged heritage of lovers to become the loving thought to be sent, on February 14, to all members of the personal affective sphere. With parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, with more or less extended kinship, but also with the friend of the heart, the classmate, the girl next door, they exchanged, on Valentine's Day, to keep testimony of the circumstantial affection. In Italy the affectionate celebration of Valentine's Day, previously practically unknown, was imported in the second post-war period of the twentieth century when it came into connection with the American custom. Although there was no lack of ritual traditions and allusive procedures for declaring and exchanging loving feelings, there was then some publisher, of which Mondadori is remembered here who, from that time, published greeting cards for the love anniversary, following a formulation suitable for taste and to the design of the time and also inspired by the designs of Raymond Peynet (1908-1999), the last singer of lovers and the inventor of the amoureux filiforms that crossed the second half of the twentieth century as a couple. The museum preserves very rare and numerous Valentie, boasts about 300 copies without considering the three-dimensional love cards.


In addition to the rich library of facsimiles and art books, the Museum of Arte Povera has a valuable and significant collection of animated, three-dimensional books with raised images, where it is possible not only to read enchanting and magical stories but to play and, with a simple touch discover ... magic books toy books, which do not contain only two-dimensional images. By opening a single page of these precious books you can admire a varied amount of figures to animate and perspective scenarios. Currently the definition pop-up, literally "jumping on" (introduced by the publisher Blue Ribbon Press in the thirties and subsequently extended to almost all the books that contained some "surprises" or mobile part), is the conventional way to indicate these publications , even if, for some time, in America, "interactive book" has also been used, perhaps mediating from the computer language. THE MAGIC BOOK: A LITTLE HISTORY Almost all of the books on the market today are designed in America or England. The interest in pop-up books, albeit with a tradition of over a century, has exploded commercially only in the last Unlike how one might think, given that today this type of publication is aimed at children and young people, the history of animated books sees them born as a didactic tool to illustrate scientific theories and research. Since the fourteenth century, some anatomical books were illustrated with the "flap" technique, a paper flap which, raised, shows the inside of the drawn subject or what is hidden under a surface. In the 16th century, the German astronomer Peter Apian, in the book Cosmographia, carved some intaglio engravings and connected the various parts with thin threads so that they could rotate one over the other. Thus he intended to assist the explanation and transmission of the information he had elaborated in his studies of celestial bodies. For about two centuries animated books remained confined to didactic tools; only towards the end of the 18th century did a production start, which dealt with themes related to the show and to the traditional or fantastic story and the first "pastime" books were published. A series of optical toys anticipated the effects and contents of many three-dimensional books printed in the second half of the 19th century, effects that were also found among the pages of the pop-ups published today. Curious devices that used images to create suggestive effects, to arouse wonder and amazement, became very popular in the 1700s and 1800s. Scientific instruments, such as the magic lantern, the curved mirrors for the anamorphosis, the optical machines of the precinema, were transformed to produce shows. These include pantoscopes, optical boxes and peep shows whose modified and simplified effects, we will find among the pages of many pop-up books. In the same period, the optical box or theatrical diorama spread. Outside, it looked like a small wooden column, or a long horizontal box more or less decorated or carved, which could have seemed part of the furniture if it had not been for a large "eye", a lens, facing the center of the room. Peeking through the lens, landscapes, panoramas or interiors of buildings in perfect three-dimensions revealed themselves in the eyes of the spectator. In the early nineteenth century, the wooden containers were eliminated and the first multi-storey scenes were built using only paper as then for the books. THE FIRST LUDIC IMAGES The first images to be animated for playful purposes appeared in the second half of the 1700s created around 1760 by the London publisher Robert Sayer, the Harlequinades, or Metamorphoses Book or Turn Up Book, consisted of two images printed on a single sheet which, cut into four parts and folded perpendicularly on itself, superimposed the two designs hiding one. By lifting the parts of the sheet, the images were composed in new combinations that gave an ironic or mocking aspect to the story that was being told. Sayer published several "Harlequin tales" between 1765 and 1772. These booklets became very popular, were imitated by other publishers and also sold outside England, but due to the poor quality of the paper they were printed on and wear and tear caused by the movements, the copies in good condition that have come down to us are few. Rare are also the well-preserved copies of the publications from the London publishing house S. and J. Fuller who between 1810 and 1812 proposed some books which each contained seven or eight figures with different clothes, who lacked the head . This was drawn on a detached cardboard and had a long tongue under the neck that had to be inserted in the neckline of the dress, thus allowing to "dress" the paper doll in various costumes. A few years later, the same technique was applied to images that represented environments of family life that had to be completed by figures that had to be inserted, with the same technique of the tongue, in invisible slots practiced in some points of the image. Between 1860 and 1900 Dean & Son published about 50 titles, using numerous construction techniques, including Little Red Riding Hood (1864), considered the first three-dimensional book and the other scenic books Robinson Crusoe, Cinderella and Aladdin. Each illustration was arranged on three or four carved floors and connected with cardboard strips. By pulling the ribbon placed on the back of the cardboard that constituted the background, the page was raised vertically and the planes were raised creating a perspective effect. The text was printed on the horizontal page and was visible only when the illustration was raised. Many Dean & Son books were also published in the United States by E. P. Dutton. In the following years other London publishers ventured into the creation of animated and three-dimensional books, among them Raphael Tuck (1821-1900), an emigrant of German origin, who had founded in 1870, together with his children, a publishing house that in a short time was become famous for the quality of its productions. Paper dolls, decorations, games, tickets were designed in the London studios, but printed by the skilled technicians of the German industries. After 1882, following the retirement of his father, the name of the publishing house was transformed into Raphael Tuck & Sons and the production of animated and three-dimensional books began. Like those of Dean & Son, the animated books of Raphael Tuck & Sons, they proposed images that rose from the background by opening the book or animated by pulling on a cardboard tab. Groups of children and pets were the protagonists. Among the most beautiful books we find those of the Father Tuck Mechanical Series published around 1890 and the volume Summer surprises (1896) which contains splendid three-dimensional pages republished a few years ago, successfully, throughout Europe (in Italy by Rizzoli with the titles By the sea and in the countryside). In Germany, due to the tradition and experience in color printing, there were many publishers who ventured into the production of animated and three-dimensional books. One of the most interesting productions is that related to Ernest Nister (1842-?) And his publishing house which began to publish children's books around 1880. His activity took place between Nuremberg - where the studies where his works were based they were designed and built - and London, where he had opened a commercial office. Thanks to an agreement with E. P. Dutton of New York, many of his books were also sold in the United States. Talented illustrators worked with him, in fact the designs of the Nister editions have an unmistakable style. We find represented chubby and serene children who identify with the roles of adults or play in the company of nice animals. Poems and nursery rhymes, seasons, games, the sea, Christmas are recurring themes in his production. In addition to improving the quality of traditional mobile books, the artists and technicians of the Nister Publishing House invented new technical solutions. The illustrations of his works rose from the sheet thanks to scaffoldings of cardboard and fabric tabs (such as Wild animal stories or Peeps into Fairy Land); they dissolved into each other because divided into horizontal strips or segments that were intertwined by pulling a cardboard lever (such as Playtime surprises) or rotating a tape along the perimeter of the image (such as Revolving pictures or Surprising Pictures) they completed by observing them in transparency (like The Magic Toy Book). In the 1980s Nister's books were reprinted all over the world, but in many cases the publications are not faithful to the original version, both for the size and the number of illustrations contained in the original version. In some cases these are creations of modern authors who have animated images taken from his books. Lothar Meggendorfer (1847-1925), the "genius" inventor of the most complex mechanical books created so far, was born in Munich, Germany. At the beginning of the century his name was well known both among adults and children, but little by little it was forgotten. In 1860, following the death of his father, he had to leave school. After two years, thanks to the interest of a friend who recognized his talent, he began to attend the Munich Academy of Art. In 1866 he joined the staff of the humorous magazine Fliegende Blatter (Flying Sheets) and later also collaborated with other publications, but drawing and coloring was not enough for him. He was interested in certain greeting cards for children who presented mobile or relief images. It is said that, taking inspiration from these, Meggendorfer built, as a Christmas gift for his children, a book with figures that moved like puppets. He had carved some parts of the figures drawn on a sheet and fixed them to the background with small metal spirals connected together with cardboard strips hidden between the pages. By pulling a small lever that protruded from the edge of the sheet, the figures came to life. That was the prototype of the first of the many books that he prepared, for which he created surprising mechanisms that allowed him to make the protagonists of his drawings up to five or six movements simultaneously and in different directions, when the images made by the other authors made them once or twice. He also made three-dimensional works, such as Im Stadtpark, Das Puppenhaus and Internationaler Circus, his most famous book, but Meggendorfer especially deserves appreciation for the ingenuity he showed in devising mechanisms to animate the figures that illustrated his nursery rhymes, which allowed him to create true masterpieces of paper engineering. Some of his books were published in Italy by the publisher Hoepli. The production of pop-up books outside Germany and England was quantitatively more modest. In France, the publications of A. Capendu of Paris, small theatrical scenarios and animated books, which resemble the works of Dean & Son, should be remembered. In Italy there was a production of good artistic interest, but of limited edition. Sometimes it is difficult to date the books of that period exactly, because "restorations" made by inexperienced hands, replacements of covers or loss of title pages, have deprived the texts of editorial references Con Hoepli (who translated some titles of the beginning of the century Meggendorfer and in the 1940s proposed three large carousels, the Libroteatro Hoepli), among the first to publish stories belonging to the Italian tradition we find the publishers Treves, Bemporad, Vallardi and the Florentine R. Franceschini & F. who in the 1940s proposed books with " animated figures ", with very simple mechanisms. In the interwar period, few publishing houses continued to offer animated and three-dimensional books in their catalogs. There was a return to the production of single sheets, greeting cards or souvenirs for important events and no author distinguished himself for creativity or innovative contributions until 1929, when the first book by J. L. Giroud was published in London. Paper and printing certainly did not have the quality and refinement of those used for the works of the previous authors, but the contained costs and a new, simple, technique capable of creating original and very pleasant effects made Giroud's books a real editorial success and his works became very popular in England in the years between the two wars. Between 1929 and 1934 he made the animations for the annuals of the Daily Express. Later he founded Strand Publications with which he published the 17 titles of the Bookano Stories series between 1934 and 1950. The text occupied most of the volume which contained 3 to 6 pop-up figures - pictures that spring up in Model Form - which rose when the book was opened and occupied the space of two sides; some figures moved if the pages were partially closed and opened with repeated movements. Who introduced the term pop-up, to indicate the books that had three-dimensional or animated illustrations, was the Blue Ribbon Press of New York. Among his best known publications are the four pop-ups featuring Disney characters released between 1933 and 1934. A few years later, Pleasure Books Inc. Chicago, of the same publishing group, made other books with protagonists that belonged to the world of comics: Buck Rogers, Tarzan, Flash Gordon, Tim Tyler, Dick Tracy, Little Orphan. In the 1940s the publications of McLoughlin Bros. also resumed, which had edited, from 1880 to the end of the century, card games and animated books that had had good commercial success. In 1939 he published the first titles of the Jolly Jumps series which revealed, with the volumes edited in the following years, a production of considerable artistic interest. The revival of production, however, took place in the early sixties. Bancroft Publishing in London began, spreading the publications of the Artia of Prague (translated by Cino del Duca Editore in Italy) illustrated by Voitec Kubasta. In his works this author was able to renew the simplest and most elementary technique for constructing an image on several levels: the whole illustration, including the parts that will be raised thanks to incisions and folds, is drawn directly on a single sheet. This requires that an image be constructed with elements drawn from different perspective points of view. Until then, linked to a minor editorial production (the titles of the Mediterranean editions of the 1940s and those of the publisher Piccoli in the 1960s are an example in Italy), this technique reached the maximum artistic expression with Kubasta. Many authors later tried their hand at these technical strategies which make it possible to obtain beautiful volumetric solutions at low costs, however Kubasta's works retain a particular originality and charm, not yet equaled. The most important "name" in the contemporary history of pop-ups is that of Waldo Hunt who, from a passionate collector, has become his greatest producer. Hunt saw the first pop-up book in Germany during the Second World War and was fascinated by it. In 1960 he founded Graphics International, later merged into Hallmark, with which he published over 30 titles translated into many languages ​​(in Italian by Mondadori). In 1975, he launched Intervisual Communication in Los Angeles, the most important pop-up book production company which today offers dozens of new titles that are published all over the world. The best paper engineers have worked with Hunt, including Ron Van Der Meer, Keith Moseley, Rodger Smith, while others have trained professionally in Intervisual studios including Dick Dudley, Pat Paris, and James Roger Diaz who have now undertaken an independent activity. The "mobile" books created in recent years show more and more complex and fascinating constructions and the surprise that is felt by leafing through these pages is even greater in the works in which the sounds or lights have also been inserted. In the last twenty years many illustrators, paper engineers, creatives have contributed with their talent to enrich the surprising paper engineering contained in the three-dimensional and mechanical books of Ernest Nister and Lothar Meggendorfer by offering readers increasingly elaborate and unpredictable pages, pages that enchant and they are astonishing and that they belong to the magical world of fantasy even when they tell real life or simulate the functioning of a machine, the human body, the mysteries of the universe or help to learn to read. Except for a few cases, the books that we find on the market all over the world are made in China, Colombia and Singapore where important production companies are based which manage, thanks to the print quality achieved and the short preparation times, to manually assemble thousands copies for each title.

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Milan international exhibition Milan international exhibition (1906) by Leopoldo MetlicovitzItalia Liberty


The Museum of Arte Povera preserves a precious collection of Almanacs, Lunari and perfumed calendars from not only from Italy but also from France and England. The characteristics of these objects are first of all the small size and a precious graphic and editorial layout. The oldest almanac preserved in the Museum dates back to 1666. PHOTOS The paper used and the cover are very poor, the printing of the decorations is very simple and only one color is used. Leafing through the almanac, it is easy to see how the printing characters are of different heights, testifying to a print made with the first movable characters. The decorations, made in woodcut or with the use of punches, are strictly monochrome.For the low cost and for the information they provided, they also entered the houses of the popular classes and, indeed, for many families they constituted the only relationship with the printed paper. The almanacs spread widely in the eighteenth century. The eighteenth-century almanac is the result of the evolution and fusion of recurring elements in three types of annual publications, very different in content and destination, born in previous centuries. First of all the prognosticon or iudicium: widespread from the Middle Ages to the 17th century it was intended for an educated public. Drafted initially in Latin and later in the vernacular, it contained the ephemeris tables, a speech on the dominant planet in the year, the conjunctions of the planets over the seasons with their consequences on climate and disease. The most interesting part concerned the predictions related to wars, natural disasters, the horoscope of the powerful: this was the field of the so-called "judicial astrology", ie the application of the interpretative categories of astrology to the field of politics. The kalendarium was instead intended for the clergy, written in Latin and published in the cities as bishopric for use by the whole diocese. Its structure, which remained stable from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century, included the list of mobile parties, the four temples, the days when the wedding could not be celebrated, the calendar of the saints, the indication of the sacred texts and the colors of the vestments to wear for each celebration. The last type of publication that inspired the Almanac are the lunars that spread in the mid-sixteenth century, booklets that reported the calendar with the phases of the moon and the newspaper of the saints. The lunars were even simpler than the almanacs, they constituted an important phenomenon as they were perhaps the first printed books to have a popular diffusion. From the union of these different typologies was born the common almanac, which had its heyday in the eighteenth century. It contained some fixed sections: the newspaper of saints, religious holidays, lunations, the tables of sunrise, the list of fairs, the tariff of coins, the departure and arrival of the post office, the birth dates of the princes of Europe, the list of Archbishops, bishops and abbots and also provided advice on the cultivation of vegetable gardens and gardens. The rubrics were introduced by a general discourse on the year and seasons which contained forecasts on the climate and diseases formulated on the basis of natural astrology. Instead, the horoscope of the powerful and the forecasts of wars and catastrophes, severely opposed by the Church which condemned the belief that human events were determined by the stars, had disappeared. Instead, natural astrology continued to be tolerated, that is, the principle that stars could influence atmospheric events and diseases, even if in the century of the enlightenment the exponents of high culture opposed it as a source of lies and superstition. The almanac evolved in the second half of the eighteenth century when some printers decided to turn to a more demanding public who was not satisfied with simple predictions, but who expected information and news from the almanac. Thus were born the almanacs with compendium, which aimed at scientific popularization; they proposed real treatises published in installments year after year, printed in files that could later be separated from the almanac and tied together to form a small encyclopedia. They dealt with astronomy, meteorology, agronomy, medicine, geography, history. Leading exponents of Enlightenment thought turned their attention to this sector, not forgetting to compile almanacs which for their diffusion were one of the most effective tools for the education of civil society. However, there are almanacs dedicated to literature, to relaxing themes full of curious anecdotes, comedies of poetic compositions that exalted the qualities of beauty. During the nineteenth century there was a further specialization of the categories: if on the one hand the publication of naive continued almanacs with proverbs and recipes to try their luck at the lotto game, the model of the literary almanac with educational and pedagogical intent was consolidated. Together with almanacs and lunars, the calendarietto is born which represents the simplification of the peasant lunar of the nineteenth century, in turn derived from the wall almanacs. With the development of printing, calendars became annual and spread in two different forms: the pocket calendar-booklet and that of the wall sheet, the pocket calendars were composed of 16 to 20 pages. The most sought-after are those that have an irregular shape, but cropped, those with relief motifs on the cover or gold backgrounds. The pocket calendars are the most available, born as an advertising vehicle especially for perfumes, cosmetics and soaps, given in men's and women's barber shops and perfumeries. In the men's field, in fact, razors and safety razors did not yet exist and, moreover, current fashion was linked to characters with flowing mustaches and beards, so the only way to keep them in order and to shave was to attend the barber . The "salon" became, therefore, a real place of social contact in which relationships and business were tightened, chatters and confidences were exchanged and the managers were therefore particularly interested in keeping the customers to whom, at the end of the year, they gave these little ones booklets - with their own advertising - to be kept in the wallet. Their practical usefulness was linked to the opportunity to always have a calendar at hand that would allow you to know immediately which holidays and working days were in a society now increasingly active in trade. Being mostly intended for a male audience, a constant presence is that of the "little women", first as an exclusively decorative and subsequently erotic fact. An interesting fact of costume, therefore, from which one can document history, customs and habits, not least of which is women's fashion. The main companies in the sector that used calendars are Migone, Bertelli, Cella and Sirio perfumery, many then those in the confectionery sector and finally a large number of "salons" created ad hoc calendars for their customers. A particular case is that of Bemporad and Son of Florence who obviously did not produce perfumes. The themes treated in the calendars have been innumerable, the R. Parenti Collection preserves a large number of specimens with different themes and above all with more or less rich finishes. It starts with calendars with a regular structure with calendars with punched and perforated covers, real objects of art craftsmanship. One of the predominant themes is female charm and beauty followed by calendars dedicated to important historical events, sports, great opera works to the great masters of art and music to the great colonial enterprises to wars to the stars of cinema. The other great sector is that of accordion calendars, that is, made up of a cover from which the pages full of images flow in sequence and unfold. Among the rarest calendars kept at the Museum, those with a star, fan or palette shape, dated 1902 1903, are worth mentioning. A separate sector is that concerning the half-yearly calendars, that is, composed of a folded leaflet containing the inside the two semesters of the calendar. Although generally the figurations of the calendars were entrusted to not prominent artists, who made "naif", easily "legible" representations, many were the great refined and prolific illustrators, who engaged in the realization of these small objects. Obviously these are the calendars most sought after by collectors, especially those representative of Art Deco and Liberty, with golden or silver backgrounds, scrolls, floral motifs and very decorated or those in the "twentieth century" style. The custom of giving calendars still remained alive in the following years and, although no longer producing pieces of both graphic and content value, those of the 50s and 60s, dedicated to cinema and a little risqué young women, can be considered interesting and pleasant. still of good invoice. Considerable interest was then given to football fans.

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Third centenary of the birth of Evangelista Torricelli from Faenza (1908) by E. GiandottiItalia Liberty

Fine publishing

Industrial printing machines were built in the 1900s: rotary presses, offset printing machines. The main role in the development of typographic art is given by the applications of photographic techniques that give the way to print color images: after the war, color printing was born.The process of color printing is based on the four-color process (somewhere you will find written four-color process) consisting of 4 films each corresponding to one color (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) obtained from the selective reproduction of the color images through an appropriate filtering of the complementary colors and by means of an indispensable screening to give all the shades of color present in the original image. The 4 films thus made were put in contact with the so-called plates from which, through a suitable photo-engraving, the printing matrices were obtained to be mounted on the rollers of the offset machines. The photographic reproduction techniques are also applied for the construction of another great invention such as the photocompositor which makes the previous monotype and linotype gradually abandon. The photocomposer made it possible to create real texts visible on a monitor, also allowing immediate corrections to be made before printing everything to be mounted on acetate sheets, ready to be reproduced.Great examples of the press are kept in the Arte Povera museum, the Divine Comedy, the Odyssey, the Iliad, the Decamenorone, the Canticle of the Canticles, the Leonardo da Vinci Codes to name a few. Works realized not only with great craftsmanship, illustrated by great twentieth-century artists, Giorgio De Chirico, Giacomo Manzu, Ugo Nespolo. Among the latest acquisitions of the Museum, the two works donated by the Marilena Ferrari Foundation dedicated to two great artists of the past "Michelangelo" and "Canova", two great artists who come to life thanks to the photographic images of two illustrious photographers of international fame, Mimmo Jodice and Aurelio Amendola who fully interpreted the art and spirit of two of the greatest artists of Italian and world art.


 »The art book and the facsimile, a cultural enterprise dedicated to the most ancient traditions. A new way of investing in culture. The museum becomes an avant-garde library. "The Museum of Arte Povera, between the sections in which it is divided, houses a rare and rich collection of facsimile works or more precise works reproduced in a totally faithful way to the original. These masterfully reproduced works allow everyone, therefore not only illustrious scholars and researchers, to benefit from a heritage that is difficult to consult. The precious "original" manuscripts, from which the beautiful specimens exhibited in the Museum are reproduced, present in libraries and archives all over the world, are usually, for security and conservation reasons, enclosed in beautiful display cases and armored safes inaccessible to the public of curious or simple enthusiasts of the manuscript and illuminated book, the purpose of the Museum is to create an Avant-garde Library where the beautiful reproduced manuscripts can be studied, admired and consulted by everyone. A path where beauty is within everyone's reach and which wants to enhance beyond the beauty and craftsmanship of the past art, also the artistic and artisan tradition of our country thanks to the companies, which still today, by winning cumbersome bureaucracies and waiting for very long times , manage to faithfully reproduce priceless works.The manuscripts reproduced and preserved in the museum represent the artistic splendor of all past centuries, from 200 AD until about 1650, from manuscripts and chorales commissioned by ancient monasteries and very important popes, to the beautiful Breviari, made on the recommendation of great patrons, to illustrious artists and illuminators of the greatest Italian courts. The collection also consists of Salteri, gold books, missals, herbariums, a cultural heritage, normally inaccessible, but today thanks to the dedication of the museum director, all to be explored. Our Journey to discover the inaccessible beauty starts, citing only some specimens, from 200 AD with the papyrus of Edizia origin, Beati Petri Apostoli Epistulae papyrus Bobmer VIII, containing Letters of St. Paul the Apostle, the original copy of which is kept in the Apostolic Library Vatican and continues with the Codex Purpureus Rossanensis made between the beginning or the middle of the sixth century. Coming from Asia Minor made in Syria or Palestine preserved in the Museum of the Archbishopric of Rossano Calabro up to, to name a few, the Book of Kells dated around 800, to the Gospels of Lorsh about 810; The Psalter of San Ruperto built at the end of the ninth century; the Code of Medicine and Pharmacy of Federico II made in the 13th century and subsequently purchased by Cosimo de Medici the Elder for the Medici Library of Florence; The Histori Plantarum, herbarium built at the end of the 1300 from the court of Gian Galeazzo Visconti, a work of excellent beauty created and attributed, according to one of the most illustrious historians of 1900 Pietro Toesca, to the school of Giovannino de Grassi, identified as the precursor of the Gothic international, he worked at the construction site of the cathedral in Milan in 1391 highlighting himself for the carvings and the meticulous processing of the capitals, in 1370 he illustrates 50 sheets of the Offiziolo by Gian Galeazzo Visconti with scenes of fairytale and naturalistic landscapes very close, for their style to the decorations present in the History Plantarum; The De Lisle Psalter, made in the first half of the 1300s from England, containing biblical stories; The Borso d’Este bible made in the last half of the 1400s, coming from Ferrara or Modena, commissioned by the Duke of Ferrara made by one of the most important miniatures on the national scene, Taddeo Crivelli together with Franco dei Russi. Taddeo even if, pupil of Pisannell, his art receives the influences of Andrea Mantegna, he works in the court of Borso d’Este in Ferrara and his first work was the precious Bible of Borso d’Este. Crivelli himself, in addition to numerous paintings, created the first printed map of Italy after his transfer from Ferrara; Concluding our quick journey, we mention The Code remains, a work that becomes the tangible symbol of the ideal shared by the intellectual of the 1700s with the ideal path constituted by the Museum of Arte Povera. Antonio Resta has collected original drawings, sketches, studies, miniatures of the greatest artists contemporary to him or who had preceded him. Resta brought together this extraordinary collection in a volume that he himself called "Portable Gallery", a real itinerant museum in which it is possible to follow the traces of the styles and artists that had characterized the previous ages and that especially marked the seventeenth century. A path, the one that wants to cover the entire arc of Italian art from Giotto up to his days, offering an anthology of drawings by the "heads of the four ancient, ancient and modern Roman Florentine schools.

Credits: Story

The national cultural association ITALIA LIBERTY - Social promotion body - Thanks to the whole team of the Museum: Roberto Parenti, owner of the exhibited works and deputy director; the mayor Quintino Sabattini and the whole city council; all officials of the Ripa-Marcosanti Palace in Sogliano al Rubicone.


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