Friday, May 19, 2017

A DAY IN NAPLES

Magic, mystery, a thirst for wonders and for the unknown, and a pagan sun-religion.
An ambiguous nature envelops Naples, however wonderful in color and climate it might be, for thundering within the bowels of the earth is the mysterious fury of the volcano and the earthquakes that in the past have buried entire nations.
The mystery of excellence in Naples is called liquefaction of the blood of San Gennaro: twice a year the blood contained in vials liquefies when it comes into proximity with the head of the martyr which is guarded in the reliquary.
Here we are in the heart of the mystery, the Sansevero Chapel, which is linked to the figure of Prince Raimondo of Sangro, an alchemist, magician and necromancer. Here we find a real miracle of art: Giuseppe Sammartino’s famous veiled Christ, for the marble veil over the deposed Christ is able to simultaneously cover and completely reveal his body.

Friday, May 12, 2017

THE PONTESE

On the volcanic island of Ischia, south-west of Naples, an ancient currency is being brought back to life.
Thanks to a cultural initiative, residents and visitors will be able to use them as payment for entry at certain historical sights - or they can simply keep them as a souvenir.
One side of the coin shows a winged griffin, the logo of Aenaria, the Roman name for Ischia.. The other shows a Roman galaxy, just like the coins in use in ancient Rome.   
For now, the coin can only be used at a limited number of sites in the hamlet of Ischia Ponte, for example to pay for entry to the submerged city of Aenaria. 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

NERO AT BAIAE

In this painting, the excited and gloomy atmosphere of the tableaux vivants, packed with people, gives way to a more intimate view, not without its guarded symbolic significance. The light of dawn has already tinted pink the tunic of the flabby emperor and the calm waters of the bay of Naples. In that city Nero performed in public for the first time to resounding success, and its coastal villas inspired the architects who designed the Domus Aurea for him.
At Baiae a dramatic event took place. Here Nero decided to kill his mother. His face is mournful, his gaze blank while he awaits the uncertain result of his infamous crime.
It is easy to see the parallel between the smoking Vesuvius and the despot’s gloomy pride, as he is licked by a languid tiger, synonymous of force and cruelty, yet eager to be caressed.