Italy has always been loved by artists of every genre. An American painter said me she loves the light of Italy because she affirmed once: "This one is the same light captured by Raffaello, Leonardo in their creations."
L'invenzione delle Nuvole Lettere sull'Arte e la Poesia by Florian Illies, will let you discover the German admiration for Italy during the 1800s without neglect of course the creativity experienced by these artists in their homeland.
Italy: a land with a different light, a land where poetry met along its way hospitality, and warm.
With the complicity of good weather, our Italy became colonized by a large part of German creatives.
Casa Baldi, Olevano, a little wonderful locality became a reality wanted and desired by everyone. The first Germans who decided to live there, dying in the location, became... tourism as well. Every German painter or writer wanted to visit in fact their graves because of the admiration felt for them.
They had changed their life, they had captured another world, and they had lived in a complete different atmosphere for the rest of their existences.
Painters have always experienced problems with colors. Vermeer's cobalt was incredibly precious in 1600s. It's just an example; at the beginning of 1800 the birth of a new generation of colors, speaking about oil paintings, in grade to dry quickly created new expectations in painters; painters didn't search anymore for landscapes.
Or better, they also searched for a new element of beauty and poetry: clouds, the most sensuous natural phenomenon of this world.
Everyone can imagine what a cloud would represent.
A horse? A dragon? A star? A flower? It's up to us and our fertile imagination.
Surely clouds attract because they are symbolically close to the sky, preserving it, like good guardians; at the same time they are looking upon us reminding us that it's important to dream and to look at the world with different eyes, the eyes of imagination.
German painters and not only, on 1800s afforded to Italy searching for light, the perfect one, and of course, for clouds. The biggest exponents of 1800s were once all in Italy. The French one, the english, William Turner, and the German. No, they didn't know each other, but they searched for the same dream, for the same light.
Of course there weren't just clouds on the canvases of painters, but also representations of the daily italian life and personal homages to our italian women and their hard work to the fields, represented with the sweetness that only the Italian atmosphere presents: the one of work mixed to love and dedication and a hard life spent with a smile on the face.
Another thematic taken in great consideration thanks to Goethe and a quick sketch realized once he was to Naples was the eruption of the Vesuvius; it was pretty active during 1800, starting during the end of 1700 and giving occasion to German painters and writers of seeing in person what it meant a real eruption.
This sometimes devastating natural phenomenon has been put in relationship with the human condition and the connection between man and nature, not avoiding also the idea that an eruption could be compared to the one of fireworks.
This book takes also in consideration paintings realized by Germans about the apocalyptic facts that would have brought Germany to war on 1913-1914 and later to the Nazism. They're difficult years these ones and painters, writers, start to understand that something horrible will soon or late happen. They understand before anyone else that the old world is gone and a new terrible one is waiting for them.
Futurism for futurists was over admits the author, and what can't be perceived looking at the paintings of this first decade of 1900, affirms mr.Illies, is a real ideology; just apocalyptic paintings and just individual ways of seeing the reality for what it is. There weren't anymore associations in grade to keep united artists, and to give some guidelines to them.
A mention to Andy Warhol, this time American, in grade to see what it would have happened later, with the mass reproduction of gadgets and art as well.
Florian Illies will also guide the reader at the discovery of literary, men who made the differences also in his own life because of their impetuous character also if dead and also if matter of study; you will discover their little or big miseries, for a fresco, at the end, in grade to let us discover not just the sadness characterizing the beginning of 1900 but a a crucial and important moment for Italy in terms of fertility, visibility and creativity: the one experienced on 1800s.
I thank Marsilio for the physical copy of this book.
Anna Maria Polidori