The imposed symmetry of the work architect and Dante scholar Fillipo Brunelleschi (1377 – 1446) in the name of geometric beauty is beautifully captured in the architecture of Florence’s Foundling Hospital (Ospedale degli Innocenti).
Built between 1419-1424 the Foundling hospital is characterized by a great clarity in which the relations between all the parts can be expressed in terms of measurement and its overall design simplicity.
Brunelleschi started a revolution in architecture, one, which glorified Italian history and influenced the way all other architects would think in the future and the shape of buildings to come.
He was not an imitator.
He was a sculptor and the Renaissance architect who evolved laws of linear perspective. He is most famous for completing the Dome of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore at Florence (Duomo).
He took the various elements of his architectural repertoire, which was based on classical architecture from antiquity, the column, the capital, and rounded arch and recombined them with a mathematician’s regard for proportion. In a fresh new way, he illuminated the art of perspective in architectural form.
Brunelleschi relied on colour as an accent and within the space where his arches met he designed a tondo, or roundel that would provide an opportunity to feature beautifully rendered small relief sculptures.
While applied at a later date, the Tondo containing relief sculptures at the Foundling Hospital in Florence are all beautifully rendered.
They demonstrate the beauty and elegance of Brunelleschi’s classical geometry as allied with the humanistic spirit.
Renaissance sculptor Andrea della Robbia (1435-1525) fashioned these miniature wonders, which emphasizde the geometry of form, the square, the circle, the cube and the hemisphere as they were intended to do.
Andrea came from an influential Florentine family studio, whose works were primarily associated with being fashioned in enamelled terracotta as indeed, the little foundling has been.
It was Andrea’s Uncle Luca della Robbia (1399 – 1482) who first developed the new technique of glazing earthenware (terracotta), a medium in art with which the family name became associated, enabling the images to be produced.
Andrea brought his Uncle’s development to new levels of achievement in terms of modelling and colour.
Their surname Robbia means Madder in England, a herb used widely in the natural dying process to produce red before the invention of synthetic dyes.
Adelaide businessman, dog judge and breeder David Roche AO (1930 – 2013) purchased a ‘Federation’ style house in a good position on Melbourne Street in North Adelaide in 1954.
It was sited just a few miles from the original grid pattern of streets and squares within the city’s so-called ‘square mile’, and in an area acknowledged ‘as part of an early example of enlightened city planning’.
When he arrived David Roche decided to remodel the façade of the building so that it would give the impression of a house in the neo classical taste, which worked well with the antiques and art collection he was now forming.
Today Fermoy House, which he named for his French-Irish grandparents, houses just part of one of the greatest decorative arts collections in a private institution in Australia today.
The collection represents two centuries of design development.
David Roche’s treasures were a magnificent obsession, which he left in trust for the Australian Nation.
Managed by The David Roche Foundation (TDRF), established in 1999, the main focus is on objects collected from the English Regency and French Empire design periods, inspired in part by the bitter rivalry between two well-known rulers of taste George IV (1762 – 1830) and Napoleon 1 (1769 – 1821).
Over the nearly sixty years he lived there, the interiors of the house evolved to cater to David’s fads, fashions and passions and to provide an environment for an intelligent man, one who valued his privacy.
He made a number of additions, including one of his favourite spaces for living, which became known as the Roman Room.
Stretching right across the rear of the house it became a showroom for his favourite sculptures and a sitting room where he spent time with friends while enjoying a view overlooking the swimming pool, pavilion and garden. He set up a number of rooms to sit in dependent on his mood, the time of year and the art and objects it contained.
Recently Roche’s trustees led by Director Martyn Cook and Curator Robert Reason have not only added a contemporary gallery to accommodate thematic displays, but also formed it around an inner courtyard replacing the pool and garden.
This peaceful space now links the new trio of spaces to Fermoy House, which will be presented in the opulent manner David Roche so enjoyed.
They have also given Fermoy House a facelift, ready to cater for the crowds when this fabulous house museum complex re-opens to the public on Tuesday June 7, 2016.
Arriving into the ‘Roman’ reception room where red stucco walls superbly reflect the brilliance of the three incumbent white marble statues by Charles Summers (1825-1878), after Italian sculptor Antonio Canova (1757-1822), will be a very special experience.
From there visitors for the opening exhibition will enjoy visiting both Fermoy House and the trio of contemporary galleries recently built. The displays showcasing in Gallery 1: Neoclassic: The Spirit of Antiquity, in Gallery 2: Rococo: Graceful Exuberance and Gallery 3: David Roche: Kennels and Collecting will be sure to intrigue.
The TDRF website is now on line and tickets can be purchased for the opening Exhibition guided tours from June 7, 2016.
I don’t know about you but I love scarves, and just can’t live without them!
I find the humble scarf one of the most practical accessories around.
They are certainly a necessity on any trip interstate to Melbourne, or to Tassie for that matter!
I have a large collection, of all different colours, shapes and sizes, and tend to carry one with me at all times.
Some might think of scarves as being a little old fashioned, something ones grandmother might have worn on a day out to town, with hat and gloves.
But I beg to differ, this piece can lift an outfit in an instant.
There are so …
Global by Design: Chinese Ceramics from the R. Albuquerque Collection now on world debut display at The Met in New York is sure to gather a crowd. Featuring some sixty exquisite and unusual Chinese ceramics from an exceptional Brazilian private collection, the exhibition focuses on Chinese ceramics arriving in Europe from the late sixteenth to the eighteenth century, highlighting blue and white.
This is a period of global exploration, when sailors from the Portuguese and Spanish courts actively sought a new sea route to access the highly desirable Chinese luxuries faster. They included porcelain, tea, spices and silk. Portuguese rulers were among the first Europeans to commission works from China and are among the rarest works on view in the exhibition. They include pieces with royal designs, such as a flattened bottle with a coat of arms, and yet another with religious imagery.
There is a rare example of a kraakdish (ca. 1628–1642) on show, depicting two Persian figures. Believed to have been made for either the Islamic world or Europe, it provides one example of complicated cultural interchanges.
Kraak is the Dutch word probably a corruption of the name for the Portuguese carracks the goods, dubbed kraak ware arrived in One of the most notable was the Portuguese carrack “Catarina’, which was taken by the Dutch off the coast of Malaya. There was much rejoicing in Amsterdam when her cargo of about 100,000 pieces was sold on the docks as the Dutch were seeking to wrestle the trade opportunities away from the Portuguese.
Another unusual bowl with pierced decoration and the Islamic profession of faith has European gilt mounts, indicating its fascinating journey from China to the Islamic world and, ultimately on to Europe.
There is a fully illustrated catalogue and continuing education programs will accompany the exhibition,, including gallery talks. On June 5 as part of the Sunday at The Met program, the trade in Chinese ceramics and their continuous and complicated impact on global traditions will be offer, revealing how ceramics became a global luxury, transforming both the European ceramic industry and styles of dining and drinking.
A monumental set of five vessels; produced for display in a European home depicts scenes from West Lake in southern China. Tureens, including a delightful piece in the form of a crab with movable eyes.
There is yet another in the shape of the historical Chinese Buddhist monk Budai, and a third, based on European silver, with lush patterns incorporating Western and Eastern imagery reflect the experimentation of the Chinese porcelain industry during the eighteenth century.
A close up of any of the items reveals intricate detail, often scenes from daily life. Global by Design: Chinese Ceramics from the R. Albuquerque Collection, The Met New York | Read More
Andrea della Robbia came from an influential Florentine family studio whose works were fashioned in enamelled terracotta invented by his Uncle Luca della Robbia
The David Roche Foundation website is Online and tickets can be purchased for the opening Exhibition of the Fermoy House Museum complex Adelaide on June 7, 2016
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