Friday, December 25, 2015

Ti Voglio Bene

Niccolò Barabino painter religious art, Saint Nicolas, Italy
Dear Art Lover,

     The Italians have two ways (at least) to say, “I love you.”   The one with which most foreigners might be familiar is, “Ti amo.”  Literally, “You, I love.”  This phrase is usually reserved for romantic or passionate love.  The other way to say “I love you” is, “Ti voglio bene.”   Literally, “You, I want well.”  You will hear this spoken between friends and family. 

     In my salt and pepper experiences in amore, I must say that passion fades.  Not always, and it may change without disappearing, but it seems only a relatively lucky few figure out how to keep the flames from burning out.  Another observation is that passionate or romantic love is often about the lover more than the beloved.  It can be a bit selfish in its urgency.  However, “I want you well” is actually a generous desire.  Is that not more about the beloved; perhaps even without much thought to the needs of the one who expresses the love? This form of love strikes me as true, dependable, and longer lasting.

     I tend to think that English is a more precise language.  We have so many similar words with slightly different meanings.  We can be quite specific in what we communicate.  However, I think the Italian way of distinguishing the kind of love is actually helpful.  Imagine the chaos of miscommunication:  the stuff of movies, or of drama queens!  [By the way, Italians also have two words for “gift.”  Il regalo is generally used for presents one gives on occasions, such as birthdays, anniversaries, job-related events, etc.  Il dono is the kind of gift one gives from the heart.  It has more emotional meaning.  This could mean a donation to a charity, a gift of an organ to a loved one in surgery, or even a simple stone given “just because.”   Charming, isn’t it?]

     Perhaps you will remember the post I made on 15 December, in which I presented a marvelous painting by Niccolò Barabino (1831–1891).  Her home is in the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo in Florence, Italy

     There is another painting that I believe is by the same author.  I had to ask one of the docents how to get up on the next floor to see it.  By elevator only, she said.  When I arrived, the whole floor seemed closed off.  However, I had only come to see more of what was visible on the floor beneath me.  I really love this painter’s use of dark and light to emphasize his subject.  And perhaps you will recognize one of these saints.  Hmmm?  Allora, Merry Christmas.

Ti voglio bene,

~  Kelly Borsheim, artist

Niccolò Barabino painter religious art, Saint Nicolas, Italy

Niccolò Barabino painter religious art, Saint Nicolas, Italy

Niccolò Barabino painter religious art, Saint Nicolas, Italy

Niccolò Barabino painter religious art, Saint Nicolas, Italy

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Saints Remembered Florence Italy

Relics of saint, Bernardo Holzmann, Giovanni Battista Foggini, Florence, Italy
 Dear Art Lover,

     A lot of cultures have quite exotic rituals about the dead, especially those they deem important dead.  Italy, perhaps being Italy, tends to create elaborate sculptural containers out of precious materials.  They hold the relics of saints, often parts of bones.  The creativity of these containers, as well as the metals and stones that were used, give one an idea of how treasured are these revered creatures.

      The images on this page come from some of the collection of the Museo dell’Opera in Florence, Italy.  Two of the Florentine-based artists responsible for such artworks are Giovanni Battista Foggini and Bernardo Holzmann.  They created the Reliquary of Saint Agatha’s Veils and other relics between 1710 and 1714.
     Sig. Foggini sculpted the tomb of Galileo Galilei inside Basilica di Santa Croce.  After he became his time’s favored sculptor of the Medici, he bought a bronze foundry on Borgo Pinti in Firenze.  It was once owned by Giambologna.  Who believes this?  Sometimes it blows my mind, this city so full for centuries, of artists, architects, and artisans.

Relics of saint, Bernardo Holzmann, Giovanni Battista Foggini, Florence, Italy

Relics of saint, Bernardo Holzmann, Giovanni Battista Foggini, Florence, Italy     Not much is known about Bernardo Holzmann, as far as the place of his birth or the date, but he is likely German.  His work is known in Tuscany, mostly connected with the Gran Ducal workshops and G.B. Foggini.  He died in 1728 in Florence, Italy.
Here is an article (in Italian) about the artist:
 but you may also put his name into Google and then click on “Images” to see much more of his work.

     While these designs are too ornate for my personal taste, I like the idea of them.  They are signs that we cherish someone with desirable qualities.  We cherish a “brava persona,” a person whose words match his actions, a person who thinks of and helps others.  We cherish those who truly know how to love. 
Cherishing is one of the qualities that we need more of in the world.  I love it because it is a cousin to Gratitude and Appreciation.  And on that note:

Happy birthday, MOM!  You make 70 years look good!  Keep on keepin’ on.
     Happy 70th birthday to you, my mamma! You made it possible for me to do so many things, most notably, the artist that I strive to be and the courage to try it all. Thanks, Mom. I love you!

Happy 23 December to you all.


Relics of saint, Bernardo Holzmann, Giovanni Battista Foggini, Florence, ItalyKelly

Relics of saint, Bernardo Holzmann, Giovanni Battista Foggini, Florence, Italy 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Solstice Nature's Holiday

I took this shot from my window on 7 Dec.
Dear Art Lover,

     The solstice has arrived again.  I hope that you have peace in your life, as I have found with my new life in Italia.  I will get to move into my new home just before Christmas and each day, I find myself happier than the day before.
    Today, I was amused after we picked up a couch that was offered to my landlord.  However, they made their calculations and knew that it was going to be difficult to get it INTO this old Italian stone house.  My images here showed how they were successful in getting the long couch into the front door, but not around the bend in the hallway and staircase.  Plan B was to take the couch back outside and shove it in through the window of the room of its final destination [one floor up from a slanting hill ground surface].  The boys had to remove the shutter frames and interior windows to make enough room through the stone walls.  My images are not so good since I needed to help the guys from inside the house, but I hope you may get the idea.  

I wrote about this sort of thing before here:

     While I have been painting in the house next to mine, I gave that up to prepare gifts and help with the many decisions in furnishing an empty home. 

Thank you for your interest and best wishes for the season.

Ti voglio bene and Happy Solstice!