Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Last chance to see Giovanni Bellini at the Scuderie del Quirinale, Rome

Nobody visiting the eternal city in late 2008 could have failed to notice that there's been a major exhibition of works by the 15th century Venetian painter Giovanni Bellini at the Scuderie del Quirinale with an extensive advertising campaign featuring the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple on the city's transport system. Like the Etruscans at the Palaexpo this has been billed as one of the must-see shows of the season – if you haven't seen it yet, catch it before it closes because this exhaustive review of Bellini's work really is essential viewing!

Organised across both floors of the Scuderie galleries on a genre by genre basis, the exhibition includes not only smaller portraits and Madonnas but also, most impressively, entire large scale altarpieces such as the Pesaro Altarpiece in the first room, all beautifully and discreetly lit. Making full use of the potential of this exhibition space, the very large Vicenza Baptism of Christ is hung on the end wall of the final room on the ground floor allowing visitors the chance to admire its dazzling colours along the entire length of the gallery.

One of the most intriguing pieces is a panel, Dead Christ Supported by Two Angels, from circa 1470 which is dated and signed with Albrecht Dürer's highly recognisable AD monogram (the catalogue, incidentally, reassures us that this is a fake signature!)

Giovanni Bellini curated by Mauro Lucco and Giovanni C.F.Villa is at the Scuderie del Quirinale until 11 January 2009.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Buon Natale from Rome!

If you're in Rome over the Christmas holiday the traditional Piazza Navona Christmas market and fair is in full swing...whilst there, you can admire the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi by Bernini, which is now fully unwrapped after a long restoration.

Buon Natale!

Detail of Bernini's Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi with Christmas Fair
Originally uploaded by
Deborah Swain

Monday, December 15, 2008

River Tiber, Castel Sant'Angelo and Ponte Sant'Angelo

In spite of the mayor's warning - "this isn't a film - stay at home!" - people headed over to the Tiber in huge numbers this weekend to witness the event...after a brief break in the bad weather yesterday it's pouring again today and flood warnings about the river have been renewed.

River Tiber, Castel Sant'Angelo and Ponte Sant'Angelo
Originally uploaded by Deborah Swain

Friday, December 12, 2008

Flooding in Rome as River Tiber peaks

Too much rain
Originally uploaded by
koen ivens
After incessant storms and rainfall over the last couple of days there has been heavy flooding in Rome with the River Tiber predicted to burst its banks later this afternoon.

In fact, more rain fell during Wednesday night's storm than the average total for the whole of December. Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno has declared a natural disaster and encouraged people to stay at home.

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