Symbolism in art

The naturalistic, landscape, portraiture or specifically myth-symbolic and hieratic representation has undergone evolutions of all kinds over the millennia. Representation of what belongs to the myth or ritual or even to the imagination can be celebratory, ornamental, intimate or purely formal and detached from the emotion of the author. In this collection we have privileged themes with a strong ontological connection to comply with the main purpose of the Foundation, namely the knowledge and learning of symbolism, myth and ritual. With some exceptions, the subjects always refer to the reasons for man's search for his identity, towards knowledge of self and of his surroundings, often availing of contemporary philosophical codes and styles.

The boundary between poetry, philosophy, science and religiosity is often impalpable in a classic work and becomes very vague as individualism prevails over adherence to a logical frame. Therefore, in this collection we will find many 19th century art-works, ceramics and some small sculptures, each with its own reason. With regards in particular to paintings from recent centuries, many English painters, with greater or lesser technical competence, have often visited Italy, and represented those emotions described by all the great foreign travelers in their famous diaries of travel in our country.

The egoic and emotional element often makes its way into the representations, the storm and anguish of those who are far away. Often these are sketches for book illustrations, but sometimes the painter “penetrates” nature trying to represent the sense of an atmospheric event. In fact, nineteenth-century paintings are often entitled with the names of emotional or sentimental experiences (from pre-impressionism onwards). Safe exceptions, in the nineteenth-century the element of pompous memory of history or of a religious or warrior event, present in the great works of previous centuries commissioned by popes and emperors, fades: the emphasis of the celebration ends because man feels the desperate need to rediscover the its origins, which cannot be confined to a formal representation, and begins to tell about itself. In all the collected works, however, the memory of the classical world is always present, a connection with the “principal” symbol dispersed by the pressing modernity.


Fairy tale and Mith

The fairy tale is a myth transformed into popular folklore as centuries and millennia passed, a tale that overlooks archetypes connected to archaic, sometimes primordial, myths and rites. Myth is a great fairy tale populated of Gods and Heroes, and ritual brings myth to life. If the fairy tale and myth are attributed exclusively fantastic significance, disconnected from the myth-historical symbology that gives sense to Man coming to light on this planet, the entire history of humanity is left with a purely anthropological, materialistic value aimed at survival. If, on the other hand, the spiritual dimension of the myth is extended to the great cosmogonic storytelling of entire humanity, then the human being is connected to an infinite saga, where the horizons of science and conscience expand dramatically. Within this perspective, books and works from this sector have been collected. Children and adolescents often draw lessons from a thorough reading of myths that are otherwise difficult to transfer. Many of the great rites of the past have become games, nursery rhymes, fairy tales and dotted childhood universe until media stereotypes have been imposed. From the “Ring around the Roses” with its nursery rhyme, to many others, a whole world of unappreciated wisdom to discover and save before it is permanently lost in the name of Superheroes and Transformers.


Sacred and Mytho-Hermetic Art

The artist who works in any visual form of art does not have to be a Michelangelo or a Raphael to express, sometimes even unconsciously, symbolic and meta-symbolic meanings in his works, as demonstrated by the paintings and statues exhibited in the Museum of Foundation. The very meaning of “art” is found in the root the word comes from, Indo-European *rta, a root with multiple meanings that indicate order and harmony in their various nuances, from which the Latin word “ritus”, the act ruling the relationships between man and his God, derives.

Therefore art, the true art, is in itself as well a sacred form of expression of man and this makes it evident how aberrant is the concept of “art for art”: it is not an end in itself, but an instrument man can use to take part in the creation of the Cosmos. And “cosmos” (hence the noun “cosmetic”) has the meaning of “adorned, beautiful”, which brings us back to the Platonic canon of Beauty which is identified with the Good. If art is a ritual, the artist assumes a priestly function in the creation of the work of art, carrying out a ritual action by ordering the raw material and giving it a superior form and meaning that redeems it ( the anecdote of Michelangelo is known, who asserted that the statue was already in the block of marble and it was only necessary to know how to extract it), and for his part the observer, if he is not a passive aesthete or a brainy critic, performs an exercise of contemplation through observation and analysis of the work and the search for its meaning.



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