If the culture is not a good for all, now, more than ever, countries come together to say that it is accessible to everyone.
Because of the COVID-19 emergency, also museums and places of worship closed the doors, but luckily not the virtual access; the most beautiful thing is that you can comfortably lay on your couch and at the same time take an imaginary plane and fly up to New York or St. Petersburg to visit the MOMA or the Hermitage. No queues, no crowd in front of the pictures and no silly comments of people… you can enjoy them and study them forgetting about the time, focusing on the details as much as you like, exploring the works in HD and walking to the empty rooms.
Here some of the national and international museums which offer an online service.
- MUSEO DEL PRADO
One of the most significant works of European figurative art is “Saturno devorando a su hijo” by Francisco Goya (1821-23), kept at the Museo del Prado in Madrid.
According to Greek mythology, Cronus, the youngest of the Titans, the main character of the picture, knew that he would be deprived of the power by one of his sons, so that, very angry, began to devour them all one-to-one. The enthusiasm, madness, cannibalism of Cronus is in sharp contrast to the weakness of the small, disfigured and bloody body. It is a crude work and the ferocity is read in the hard and nervous hands of Saturn. The scene could mean the conflict between old age and youth or the return of absolutism in Spain which restricted all forms of intellectual freedom.
2. PINACOTECA DI BRERA – MILAN
“Il Bacio” by Francesco Hayez is the picture that gave the Italians more hope. It’s an ode to joy, a symbol of hope and patriotism and an icon of Pinacoteca di Brera. It’s the most copied and reprinted masterpiece in history, it was created in 1859, time in which Italy was divided into small states under the dominion of Austrian Habsburg. A time in which Italians created groups and small secret societies in order to restore dignity to their country. I think there’s a strong similarity to the time we are living. A nation that sings the Italian anthem during these days of forcible confinement, a nation that hugs from afar and with songs and music gives hope, despite everything.
3. BRITISH MUSEUM – LONDON
4. ARCHEOLOGICAL MUSEUM – ATHENS
5. MUSÉE D’ORSAY – PARIS
“Le Bassin aux nymphéas, harmonie verte” by Claude Monet describes a series of bridges where the painter went to paint at different times of day. In fact, according to the painter, in order to identify the right light, it was necessary to study it night and day. The bridge he built in the garden of his house was in the midst of sky and water. Those water lilies with pastel tones recall the traditional Japanese gardens and their representations. They seem capable to give hope and joy.
6. LOUVRE – PARIS
7. LE GALLERIE DEGLI UFFIZI – GIARDINO DEI BOBOLI – FLORENCE
Who was lucky enough to visit Giardino dei Boboli in Florence, knows that a virtual tour it’s not the same.
I visited it for the first time 12 years ago. In front of Palazzo Pitti there was an Internet Point, where I went to update my Facebook status and tell my solo-journey in Florence. One of the guys in the shop, gave me a precious piece of advice: to take the side streets of the garden and immerse myself totally in the green. I listened to him and if I could track him down, I’ll thank him because that stroll in the art gave me many emotions.
“Il viale dei cipressi” is a thick tunnel of shrubs that starts from the ground and gathers above your head. While I was walking there, a black cat appeared behind me. He was staring at me motionless. When I started to walk again, he followed me and then stopped when I turned around. I don’t know what that strange presence meant but sometimes we don’t need questions and we don’t want answers, but there’s one thing I know: that experience gave birth to a series of solo-journeys of which I have a very beautiful diary and a photo of me in tears with that mysterious cat with yellow eyes and black hair.
8. NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART – WASHINGTON
9. NATIONAL GALLERY – LONDRA
10. MUSÉES ROYAUX DES BEAUX-ARTS DE BELGIQUE
On Google Arts and Culture a strange video exists and it represent the picture “La Chute des anges rebelles” painted by Pieter Brueghel l’Ancien in 1562. It is an augmented reality that brings us face to face with the worst monsters of the history of painting. This picture tells a biblical episode, the falls of the angels who rebelled to God for their thirst of power. We can see the angels who play the triumph, blond as children, paradise birds, dressed putti without any vice.
In the middle there is the Archangel Gabriel who fights the seven-headed dragon from the book of Revelation. On the bottom of the picture, instead, there are monsters: half fish and half poultry, they have their bellies torn showing rotten eggs; they’re gigantic and disproportionate. It’s a scary scene which represents on the one hand the faith and on the other hand the greed.
The picture is kept at Musée Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique.
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