wed 22/05/2019

Florence

Imagine: Who's Afraid of Machiavelli?, BBC One

There is a wonderful play to be written about the month in 1502 when Cesare Borgia was holed up in a castle in northern Italy with Leonardo da Vinci and Niccolò Machiavelli. Which of these two was working for the fearsome Borgia? Wrong. It was the...

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Total War: Rome II

The greatest strategy videogames deliver a balance of time to think and pressure to act. The greatest strategy videogames deliver the thrill of battle mixed with clear strategic choice. Several entries in the Total War series count as great strategy...

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theartsdesk in Florence: The Springtime of the Renaissance

It’s an instinct of curators to put the pieces back together, to reintroduce works of art which time and market forces have scattered to the four winds. In recent memory, exhibitions have reunited in one space all of Monet’s haystacks, Cézanne’s...

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Gallery: The Springtime of the Renaissance

The images in this gallery illustrate some of the links and juxtapositions made in The Springtime of the Renaissance. Classical statues which influenced Florentine artists, works reunited for the first time in centuries, sculptural forms reproduced...

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Yuletide Scenes 4: Mystic Nativity

I’ve always loved this painting in the National Gallery by Sandro Botticelli. The jewel-like colours and exquisite clarity of detail create a consoling sense of lucidity, as though everything has been revealed to be alright.The reason for this...

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theartsdesk in Florence: Hating the Sin, Loving the Sinner

Perhaps the longest-lasting, the oddest – and almost certainly the most gratuitous – battle still busy raging with its roots in the ideological conflicts of the past century is the one regarding the artistic output of Italy’s engagement with Fascism...

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Johan Zoffany: Society Observed, Royal Academy

Royal families and royal academies. Aristocrats at ease in exquisitely landscaped gardens or inside in gorgeous drawings rooms. Actors emoting, notably Sir David Garrick and his troupe. Nabobs in India. All are depicted in Johan Zoffany’s rivetingly...

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theartsdesk in Florence: The British Are Going

In the 1450s in Florence, Alberti was working on the facade of Santa Maria Novella, Donatello and Fra Filippo Lippi were active, while Leonardo was born in nearby village of Vinci. And the English established a diplomatic presence. It has continued...

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theartsdesk in Florence: Was This the Greatest Renaissance Show Ever Held?

Last weekend something happened that, to me at least, would once have been unimaginable: I slipped into a museum in Florence just after 10 o’clock on a Saturday night. Familiar paintings from the city’s great store lined the walls. Normally they’d...

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Women Beware Women, National Theatre

The recent fuss about British culture being anti-Catholic just because some civil servant wrote a spoof memo satirising the Pope’s upcoming visit may have been overblown, but it is certainly true that, in the past, Italy was a byword for rank...

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Fra Angelico to Leonardo: Italian Renaissance Drawings, British Museum

This superb exhibition of Italian Renaissance drawings, featuring 100 works and chosen from the outstanding graphic collections of the Uffizi and the British Museum, explores the evolution of the preparatory sketch in the 15th century. We learn how...

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