Presentazione del libro Edward Lear: Visioni inedite della Costa di Amalfi

A post in Italian, once in a while.

Se siete dalle parti di Amalfi non prdetevi la presentazione del libro sui dipinti di Edward Lear realizzati nella zona: organizzato dal Centro di Cultura e Storia Amalfintana, saranno presenti il prof. Giovanni Camelia, Federico Guida e il sottoscritto:

Presswo le Bibliioteca comunale di Amalfi, sopportico Sant’Andrea 3, mercoledì 24 aprile 2019, alle ore 17:00.

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2 Responses to Presentazione del libro Edward Lear: Visioni inedite della Costa di Amalfi

  1. Peter Byrne says:

    ‘Edward Lear Visioni inedite della Costa di Amalfi’ is a sumptuous volume that serves not only as a catalogue of the exposition ‘Identità E Memoria’ at Amalfi in 2017 but also as a rich sourcebook on Edward Lear. Federico Guida tells us in an introductory note that the publication brings together for the first time over a hundred of Lear’s drawings and watercolours depicting the Amalfi Coast.

    Marco Graziosi opens with an incisive account of Lear in his roles as Nonsense author, artist, and traveller. It’s an overall picture but precise in detail. The fortune of Lear’s Nonsense in Italy is traced. His life is portrayed through his diaries and letters. We see it taking shape around his love of drawing that afforded an escape from his social and personal isolation and would lead to his profession of landscape artist. It was his profession and restless nature that in turn made him a traveller. Travel and his literary bent made him an author.

    Giovanni Camelia notes that Lear’s travel writing came in part from the quasi-moral obligation he felt to describe what he saw. Lear’s sojourns in Calabria and Abruzzi together with his work produced there had been amply reviewed and analysed in Italy. His visits to the Amalfi coast, however, scarcely mentioned in surviving letters and notes, had been until now largely passed over in silence. Hence the necessity and originality of then 2017 Amalfi exposition.

    However few the references to the Amalfi Coast in Lear’s writing, it had a strong place in his memory. Olimpia Gargano finds that in his description of Albania his points of comparison are often scenes he remembered from the Amalfi Coast. Moreover, Lear’s experience of the South of Italy seemed to have furnished him with a model for interpreting not only the topography of Albania but the ways of its people

    In the second part of the volume, Federico Guida tells us more about how the child who loved to draw took to ornithological design, acquired technique as he travelled, and ended as an accomplished landscape painter. Guida fills out the picture of what being a 19-century topographical artist entailed. He outlines the history of the aesthetic tradition that, as Giovanni Camelia noted, in Lear’s case sat on top of his pre-romantic and Nicolas Poussin-derived intent to establish the essential lines of a landscape, its very architecture. Lear arrived in Italy armed with the romantic conception, derived from Edmund Burke on the Sublime, of nature as the mirror of the soul and the ‘picturesque’ as the treasure to seek. But it was a picturesque never quaint but seen largely, in Johann Wolfgang Goethe’s words a vision “astonishing, grandiose and marvelous”.

    Lear’s connection with the Amalfi area began with his stay in La Cava where English travellers for some time had a foothold. It was from there that he wrote his sister Anne, June 10, 1838, a long letter that Marco Graziosi publishes here for the first time. (An Italian translation by Federico Guida follows.) Lear had travelled to La Cava with another young artist, James Unwins, whose uncle, a familiar of the place, was the painter Thomas Unwins. In part three of the volume, Marco Graziosi contributes an article, ‘Thomas Unwins a Cava’. In the complete graphic record of the exposition, sixteen of the Amalfi Coast items concern La Cava.

    This lavishly illustrated volume also reprints a 1951 article by Giuseppe Isnardi touching on Lear at San Remo. There are in addition five full pages of bibliography.

  2. You are too kind, Peter, Thanks.

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