Chris the Guide

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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Bernini vs Borromini: wednesday march 20th 10 am:

10:55 AM

 

It was a rivalry between two men that transformed Rome into the most beautiful and modern city of 17th century Europe.



Meeting point:
Palazzo Barberini, main entrance.  
Duration: 
2 hours
 Max Group Size:
Days:
March 20, 2019
Start Times:
10:00


These two really hated each other. Their names: Gianlorenzo Bernini and Francesco Borromini. This… is the story of their enmity!
So, let’s get to know the contenders. Understanding Baroque in a 2 hours walk!
The two main masters of roman Baroque: Bernini's passion, art as a full theatrical lighting. Borromini's genius, the modernity of "chess master" architect.
Their masterpieces on the Quirinale hill.


S. Andrea al Quirinale (Bernini)


S. Carlo alle Quattro Fontane (Borromini)


S. Maria della Vittoria (Bernini)
Palazzo Barberini (Bernini and Borromini)

Practical information

Duration: 2 hours
Language: english
Price: €25 per person

Monday, January 7, 2019

The Sacred and the Sexual - Friday january 18th 11 am at Palazzo Barberini

8:37 PM


Palazzo Barberini is an an extraordinary Baroque palace built for Pope Urban VIII. It hosts the national collection of Renaissance and Baroque art.
Discovering this unique art collection we will focus on the development of European taste in matter of nudity, sexuality and love to find out that both profane and sacred art pieces are valuable historic sources to comprehend the morality of the European society through the centuries.

 - In Christian societies, patrons and artists valued chastity and celibacy. Depictions of unclothed bodies were very rare and used just to convey ideas of shame, how and when did it change?
- What is the influence of "classical" Greek and Roman art nudes on the development of European art? 



- Nudity in Christian art is just a consequence of Renaissance naturalism or it is an aesthetic choice guided by deep religious beliefs?

- What is the difference in-between nudity and nakedness?

- Are sex objects in art shown just for the viewer's gratification?

- Could sexuality in mythological and biblical themes panting be elevated as a legitimate subject of art?

nudus nudum Christum sequi 

  • Meeting point: Friday january 18th 11 AM, Palazzo Barberini, via delle Quattro Fontane, 13
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Max group size: 6
  • Price:  adults 35 tickets included

Monday, December 17, 2018

Art & Bites in Trastevere - Saturday december 22nd 10 am

8:34 PM


Art & Bites in Trastevere - Saturday december 22nd 10 am

To enrich soul and vision we will visit ancient churches, adimire priceless art masterpieces and discover an underground surprise.
To gratify our taste and curiosity we'll savor delicious bites as supplì, red pizza and roman bisquits entering in cosy local shops.


A walk of less than 2 km with 3 bites, 2 churches and 1 undergound visit.
We'll visit the medieval churches of S. Crisogono and S. Maria, famous for mosaics and a secret underground. We will admire a surprising statue by Bernini in S. Francesco where sexuality is connected with religion. And obviously some italian bites in a old bakery, a cosy bar and, well, the rest is a surprise...
49 € per person 
 special price 39 € per person

Meeting point piazza Sonnino (in front of the big church)

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Chris the Guide on Whatevr Fanzine #6: I paint my pictures with all the considerations

11:41 AM

Chris the Guide on Whatevr Fanzine whatevr fanzine #6: I paint my pictures with all the considerations
“We painters have the same licence as poets and madmen.” 
  Paolo Veronese, 1573

Venice. July, 1573. It’s a hot morning on the Venetian Lagoon as the sun casts its light upon the city, lending it an unsurpassed beauty. The Republic is experiencing a new and glorious age. Less than two years have passed since the Venetians, along with the other “crowns” of Europe, defeated the Ottomans in one of the greatest naval battles in history: the Battle of Lepanto. For a brief time, and also the last time, the Mediterranean Sea was once more known as the “Sea of Venice”. Meanwhile, Europe was back at war, with the Catholics and Protestants fighting in Flanders and at sea. War for Venice had always meant big business but also great danger. The Republic had usually been adept at maintaining enough political weight to tip the scales in its favour, but this time, things were getting out of control. The Catholic party had grown strong – too strong.

The champion of the Catholics was Philip II, King of Spain – the richest man on earth. Even in France, which had always been the traditional rival of Spain, the Catholic party was triumphing. King Charles IX and his Italian mother Catherine de’ Medici had slaughtered most of the Calvinist Protestants, the so-called Huguenots, in one night – the infamous St. Bartholomew’s Night of 24th August 1572. On that day, every bell tower in Rome rang, with Gregory XIII sitting on the Throne of Saint Peter. Now famous for the Gregorian Calendar, Pope Gregory was a great defender of papal supremacy and the Counter-Reformation. The Catholics had never been so strong, and even independent and “libertine” Venice was seeing the rapid growth of that powerful armed wing of the Church, the Inquisition. 

Catherine de' Medici the morning after Bartholomew’s Night .Édouard Debat-Ponsan,1880, Mairie de Clermont-Ferrand .
Such was the political situation in July of 1573, when Paolo Veronese, the leading painter of the Venetian School, was called before the Court of the Inquisition. Paolo Caliari – better known as Veronese, after his place of birth – was an important man of the town. Respected and wealthy, his life was a great success – until now. To be called before the Inquisition was fraught with danger, and Veronese knew it. Venice’s Inquisition was less strict than those of other cities, but it was still the Inquisition; and an accusation of heresy, especially if proved, could destroy the artist’s career and potentially end his life. Yet on that day before the Court, Paolo Veronese – who was neither a hero nor a deliberate defender of human rights – transformed that dangerous inquiry into one of the brightest episodes in the cause of creative freedom.

The painting now hangs in a large room at the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice, under the title: The Feast in the House of Levi. It is perfect just as it is, uncorrected and uncensored; and the colourful collection of odd guests, of dogs, dwarfs and soldiers still remains – exactly as the artist painted them in 1573.
The casus belli was the content of one of Veronese’s paintings: the great and beautiful Last Supper, which he painted for the Dominican Monastery of Saints John and Paul. The painting remains in Venice and can still be viewed at the Gallerie dell’Accademia. It measures almost six metres long and portrays a feast, a joyful gathering of Jesus and the Apostles surrounded by jesters, dwarfs, dogs, weapons and – worst of all – drunken, heretic Germans.

This cannot be The Last Supper, argued the tribunal. Who are all these ridiculous characters? The accusation was correct and threatening: the painter had clearly not followed the guidelines. A religious painting was supposed to represent the content of the Gospels, while this rendition, even by our modern standards, looked more like a bachelor party than a religious sacrament. The situation could have taken a turn for the worse, had Veronese not managed to refute the charges with a sharp and courageous rebuttal. 

The Feast in the House of Levi (detail)

Q. “Did some person order you to paint Germans, buffoons, and other similar figures in this picture?”
A. “No, but I was commissioned to adorn it as I thought proper; [the canvas] is very large and can contain many figures.”

Veronese admitted that the monastery’s abbot suggested he insert the Magdalene in place of a dog to make the painting more in accordance with Holy Writ. But the painter considered it against his artistic sensibility, arguing that it would irreparably destroy the harmonious balance of the composition.

Q. “And the one who is dressed as a jester with a parrot on his wrist, why did you put him into the picture?”

A. “He is there as an ornament, as it is usual to insert such figures.”

Veronese was most likely afraid, yet though he respectfully acknowledged his mistakes with regard to the guidelines, he stubbornly defended his creative rights as an artist:

“I paint my pictures with all the considerations which are natural to my intelligence, and according as my intelligence understands them.”

Veronese did nothing less than follow the leadings of his artistic eye. Is that a crime or a flaw? He painted halberdiers, drinking men and Venetian nobility because it seemed to him an accurate and appropriate portrayal of life in La Serenissima, as the Republic of Venice was known. And he was paid for it. Yet Veronese was simply doing his job, and in his view, he was doing it well. An artist creates art according to his imagination and personal taste, and for this he requires complete freedom, without the risk of censorship. This is his duty and role in society, for the job of the artist is not to preach but to entertain and inspire. 

P.Veronese, self-portrait, Hermitage, St.Petersburg
It was then that Veronese spoke the words that made this trial a legend: “Noi pittori ci pigliamo la licenza che si prendono i poeti e i matti.” Here he is citing the Latin poet Horace while adding an unmistakably modern touch: “We painters have the same licence as poets and madmen.” A wonderful, flawless defence – no further explanation required. It bears repeating: “We painters have the same licence as poets and madmen.” For in this single sentence, the sanctity of creation is set. 

The Court of the Inquisition gave Veronese a lenient sentence. He had to change the title of the work to The Feast in the House of Levi, described in the Gospel of Luke as a banquet held by the tax collector Levi, who invited Jesus and the Apostles as special guests amongst a larger crowd of “publicans and sinners”. The story does not describe the guests in detail, nor does it possess the religious intensity of the Last Supper, thus giving the artist more space for creative ideas. For Veronese, the incident was a great victory. He would not be forced to make changes and could continue to paint in line with his taste and imagination.

The painting now hangs in a large room at the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice, under the title mentioned above. It is perfect just as it is, uncorrected and uncensored; and the colourful collection of odd guests, of dogs, dwarfs and soldiers still remains – exactly as the artist painted them in 1573.






 [GM1]Inserted to explain the slightly strange, old-fashioned language and also to give credit to the source.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Art & Bites in Trastevere - Monday october 22nd 10 am

11:53 AM

Art & Bites in Trastevere - Monday october 22nd 10 am

To enrich soul and vision we will visit ancient churches, adimire priceless art masterpieces and discover an underground surprise.
To gratify our taste and curiosity we'll savor delicious bites as supplì, red pizza and roman bisquits entering in cosy local shops.

A walk of less than 2 km with 3 bites, 2 churches and 1 undergound visit.
We'll visit the medieval churches of S. Crisogono and S. Maria, famous for mosaics and a secret underground. We will admire a surprising statue by Bernini in S. Francesco where sexuality is connected with religion. And obviously some italian bites in a old bakery, a cosy bar and, well, the rest is a surprise...
49 € per person 
 special price 39 € per person

Meeting point piazza Sonnino (in front of the big church)

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Saturday 22 September - The New Face of Rome: tours of the Giant Murals

3:48 PM






 Saturday 22 September  - The New Face of Rome: tours of the Giant Murals

Join us in the most unconventional bycicle ride of the city!
In Rome there are about 150 streets redesigned by street art and which are considered an integral part of the capital’s artistic heritage. The circular ride starts from the center of Rome and winds for 15 kilometers through Testaccio, Garbatella, Ostiense and Tor Marancia neighborhoods. You will discover at least 25 giant murals painted on the facades of buildings, which revive areas decisively outside the usual tourist itineraries.

For info: christiaansantini@gmail.com or wantedinrome tours

About Us

Christiaan Santini, Rome, Italy / - Tour Designer, Tour Guide, Tour Manager / Official Tour Guide license issued by the Regional Administration of Rome (nr. 4545) / p.iva: 12307641006 / c.f.: sntcrs79e19h501o / Nationality: Italian-Dutch

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