The Book in Europe in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance


Two splendid exhibitions this spring concern the history of the book in Europe during the Middle Ages and Renaissance and its impact on European and thus world culture: I Libri Che Hanno Fatto l’Europa (The Books That Made Europe) on at Palazzo Corsini in Trastevere, Rome, until July 22 (Via della Lungara 10, Rome, entrance […]

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Correggio and Parmigianino


Art in Parma in the 16th Century For the general exhibition-going public, Italian Renaissance art — and especially the art of the 16th century — tends to revolve around three great centers: Florence, Venice, and Rome. Instead, “Correggio and Parmigianino” — on at Rome’s Scuderie until June 26th — aims to celebrate a remarkable yet […]

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Giancarlo Cardinal Ravasi

30.05.2015 Atrio dell'Aula Paolo VI. Incontro con i partecipanti all'Iniziativa "Il Treno dei Bambini", promossa dal Pontificio Consiglio della Cultura. Incontro del Papa Francesco con i figli dei detenuti e i loro accompagnatori di Roma, Bari e Trani. Il Card. Gianfranco Ravasi, Presidente del Pontificio Consiglio della Cultura.

President of the Pontifical Council for Culture Since this interview concerns your book The Spiritual Significance of Eating, to be published on June 1 in English by Crossroad Publishing, what are your first memories of food? Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi: I was born during World War II, when procuring food was extremely difficult, especially in big […]

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Fernando Botero and his Via Crucis

Central Park

“Art is a spiritual, immaterial respite from the hardships of life.” —Fernando Botero Born in Medellín, Colombia, on April 19, 1932, Fernando Bot­ero, whose signature style, also known as “Boterismo,” depicts overly rotund human figures both in his paintings and in his sculptures, is one of today’s most prolific and beloved artists. His works are […]

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Pope Francis on Art

Pope Francis blesses two new statues by Argentine artist Alejandro Marmo, left, at the papal villa at Castel Gandolfo, Italy, Nov. 16. The statues are iron sculptures of the crucified Christ and Our Lady of Lujan. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano) See POPE-CASTELGANDOLFO Nov. 17, 2014.

“Art must not discard anything or anybody. It’s like mercy.” Pope Francis, May 29, 2015 During a recent conversation with Monsignor Jacobone, he mentioned that on Saturday, February 18, 1984, in Rome’s Dominican church, Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, Beato Angelico was declared the patron saint of artists, especially painters. Thus Jacobone suggested that my February […]

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Monsignor Iacobone: Editor and Author


The volume La Basilica di San Pietro is whose brainchild? Mons. Pasquale Iacobone: Our friends at the publisher FMR/UTET, Dr. Fabio Lazzari and Marco Castelluzzo, proposed the idea because they had access to an exceptional corpus of photographs of St. Peter’s by Aurelio Amendola. It included photographs he’d taken in the past, in particular of […]

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The Met’s Christmas Tree and Crèche


On a visit to New York just before Christmas, our Art Editor Lucy Gordan visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art and spoke with European Sculpture Curator Dr. Wolfram Koeppe. Dr. Koeppe, what exactly is your position at the Museum and how long have you worked here? Dr. Wolfram Koeppe: My title is Marina Kellen French […]

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Divine Beauty: From Van Gogh to Chagall and Fontana

1.1 Ciseri

  At the press preview of the exhibition “Divine Beauty,” on at Florence’s Palazzo Strozzi through January 24, 2016, Giuseppe Cardinal Bettori referred to a benchmark sermon given by Pope Paul VI to a group of artists on May 7, 1964. The Holy Father had said, “We must re-establish the friendship between the Church and […]

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The First Four Books Printed in Italy


On through October 29 in the Rocca Abbaziale, the citadel of Subiaco, a hill town some 31 miles east of Rome, is the exhibition “Subiaco 1465/2015.” It commemorates the 550th anniversary of the first four books printed in Italy. Their typographers were Arnold Pannartz (?-1476), a Czech from Prague or possibly a German from Cologne, […]

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“Vatican Splendors” A Journey Through Faith and Art

19th-century statue of St. Paul made of gilt metal.

Organized and circulated in conjunction with the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples of the Holy See, Vatican Splendors is a multi-sensory touring exhibition of some 200 works of art and historically significant objects from the Vatican. “Most of them are hundreds of years old. Many have never left the Vatican before,” Mark Greenberg, President […]

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Twenty Tapestries Tell the Biblical Story of Joseph

Above, Joseph tells his eleven half-brothers of the dream he has just had: that the bundles of grain they have gathered together bowed to him; his brothers grow angry.

Cosimo I de’ Medici (1519-1574) was the second Duke of Florence from 1537 until 1569, when he became the first Grand Duke of Tuscany. An authoritarian ruler who heavily taxed his subjects and who, like his more prominent ancestors, maintained his power by employing Swiss mercenaries, he was also an important art patron. Between 1545 […]

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Msgr. Iacobone: Holy See’s Special Delegate for “Expo”

The Holy See’s Pavilion at “Expo 2015” in Milan, Italy, which is attracting global attention

By Lucy Gordan Monsignor Pasquale Iacobone was born in 1959 in Andria, a city near Bari, in Puglia, on the southern heel of Italy. He came to Rome in 1978 to study at the Jesuit Pontifical Gregorian University, where he completed all his studies, including his doctorate, in 1996. His thesis was on dogmatic theology […]

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Lorenzo Lotto and Loreto’s Artistic Treasures

St. Christopher Carrying Baby Jesus between Sts. Roch and Sebastian.

On in Castel Sant’Angelo until May 3rd is “Lorenzo Lotto and Loreto’s Artistic Treasures.” Divided into five sections: Lorenzo Lotto, Artists in Loreto, Iconography in Loreto, The Treasure, and Apothecary Vases, the exhibition’s some fifty works of art are primarily on loan from the Museo-Antico Tesoro della Santa Casa di Loreto (called “The Museum of […]

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The Vatican Mummy Project and its Discoveries

The anthropid Coffin of Butehamon, an Egyptian royal scribe during the 21st century.

The art treasures of the Vatican — from all ages and of many cultures — are to be found in 10 pontifical museums, often erroneously referred to as the “Vatican Museum” in the singular. Less well-known than the Raphael Rooms, Borgia Apartments and the world’s largest collection of ancient Greek and Roman art, but nonetheless […]

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New “Tower Built at North American College

St Peter's Basilica is seen in the background as seminarians lead a procession during the dedication of a new building at the Pontifical North American College in Rome.

Pope Pius IX founded the North American College in 1859. Its first home — until the outbreak of the Second World War when Pope Pius XII closed Rome’s “foreign” seminaries — was at a former Dominican and Visitation convent, the Casa Santa Maria, near the Trevi Fountains, today the residence of American priests pursuing graduate […]

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St. Francis Visits New York

Giotto's fresco of St. Francis abandoning his father and his patrimony.

“How I would like a Church that is poor and for the poor!” —Pope Francis On March 16, 2013, at his first papal audience just three days after his election, Pope Francis told the some 5,000 international journalists present that he had chosen his new name in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, ”the man […]

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The Pierpont Morgan Library’s Crusader’s Bible

A folio of the bible:  a joyous landing for Noah's Ark.

One of the most extraordinary illuminated manuscripts ever created, the Crusader’s Bible, also known as the Morgan Bible or the Maciejowski Bible, is a medieval picture Bible of 46 folios, renowned for its unrivaled and boldly-colored illustrations and for its fascinating history. Two folios are conserved in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (MS nov. acq. […]

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Rome’s First Tribute to Hans Memling

Portrait of Venetian humanist Bernardo Bembo holding an ancient coin.

“The most accomplished and excellent painter of the whole Christian world” (Diary of Rombout the Doppere, 1494) Hans Memling, the leading painter of portraits, diptychs for personal devotion, and several large religious works in Bruges, Belgium, during the last quarter of the 15th century, was born c. 1435-40 in Seligenstadt near Frankfurt, Germany. Although there […]

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SACRED SPLENDOR: Treasures of Palazzo Pitti’s “Chapel of the Relics”

The interior of the "Chapel of the Relics".

The majestic Palazzo Pitti in the oltrarno, the neighborhood across the river from “downtown” Florence, was originally built for the ambitious banker Luca Pitti (1398-1472). The vast scale of this mainly Renaissance building, begun in 1457, mirrored Pitti’s determination to outrival the political clout and cultural grandeur of the Medici family, once his allies and […]

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Papal gastronomy since St. Peter

Raphael’s The Miraculous Draught of Fishes in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Two years ago, at a market stall near Vatican City, I bought three illustrated cookbooks published only in Italian as supplements of the Italian magazine Famiglia Cristiana: La Cucina dei Pellegrini, La Cucina dei Papi, and La Cucina dei Santi (The Cuisine of Pilgrims, The Cuisine of Popes, The Cuisine of Saints). Part of an […]

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