Dreaming of the sea

A collection dedicated to the sea with art works from the sixteenth to the twentieth century
Sognare il mare - Villa Medici Giulini

Dreaming of the sea is part of the “Art and Music Series” published by Villa
Medici Giulini, a series inaugurated by the catalog In search of lost sounds in
2006 and later developed with other publications dedicated to the collection of
musical instruments. The instinctive question is “what is the connection
between the sea and music”: the answer that comes naturally to me is the
reference to Claude Debussy’s masterpiece La mer in which the sea waves
become music.
The editorial schedule includes a series of “art notebooks” in which are
catalogued the works that have exerted an irresistible attraction to the point of
making seduction becoming a real and continuous presence. I would like to
quote a precious advice I had from my brother Vittorio, to whom I am grateful
for having solved the thousand questions I asked him: he suggested me not
to collect in an eclectic and disorderly way, but to set targets and develop
themes. I immediately liked his suggestion because it corresponded to the
development of themes in the music, but I partially disregarded his advice
losing myself in a thousand streams, each one anyway with its own
development. Enthusiasm and exaggeration have meant that the musical
instruments are almost a hundred and that they can still be played.
After the restoration, a wonderful historical piano is added to the
instruments of Villa Medici Giulini, a posthumous gift of a friend. It must be
played and the coeval music has to be looked for. Putting the word “end”
means to stop dreaming… and thus a wonderful adventure of art and music
continues! My innate curiosity has led me to be interested in various themes
that I list here only in part: paintings (especially if they are rich in characters
possibly happy and even better if they are playing), porcelain, tapestries,
furniture, large decorations, oriental objects, silver, ancient books, paintings
on glass, sculptures and… I’m afraid I forgot some topic!
I now asked myself the question of putting order in my world of images and
I had the good fortune to meet Enrico Colle who intuited my desire to know in
a not approximate way the identity of the works surrounding me and
entrusted each individual subject to one scholar. In my hopeless optimism, I
thought I’d solve the filing in a few months, and I realized instead that the job
took a few years, also because the irresistible attraction that works of art
exert has made me the plague and torment of scholars as I add every time
new works creating an inevitable upheaval.
Each group of works will be the subject of an “art notebook”. The editorial
adventure begins with Dreaming of the sea, curated by Silvio Balloni, and will
continue with: The enchantment of fragility, curated by Silvia Ciappi who has
filed the paintings on glass, The pleasure of precious objects, curated by
Marco Coppe, Paintings on the wave of music, in which paintings and
drawings will be filed on the basis of the study made by Mina Gregori, Sounds

and emotions, edited by Enrico Colle. The chapter of this book entitled The
Sea in Paintings already contains records that will be part of the book
dedicated to paintings. To these titles two publications dedicated to Mozart’s
favourite instruments and to the history of the psaltery, often present in the
iconography of the musical angels, will be added. I would also like to point out
an “art notebook” dedicated to the cycle of frescoes made by Francesco
Zuccarelli for the main hall of Villa Medici Giulini. The study has been done by
Federica Spadotto, an illustrious expert in Venetian painting. The title of the
publication will be Music and landscapes.
I would like to thank for the collaboration in Dreaming of the sea some
friends and scholars: Giorgio Balestrero, who checked the nautical
terminology avoiding that “we would sink a battleship” for excess of
enthusiasm, Domenico Savini who lives the world of Versilia with the
sensitivity of an artist, Silvia Ciappi who drew up the records of the paintings
on glass dedicated to the sea, earlier the publication that she has currently
under study, Fernando Mazzocca for the record The Triumph of Galatea,
Enrico Colle who coordinated the study bringing the work to a conclusion, and
especially Silvio Balloni who transformed every obstacle into a fascinating
scientific result.
I know there are many works like those that are the subject of this book in
the villas by the seaside, works that were typical of the 40’s furniture and that
today, as the time passes, have become almost “centenaries” and can
therefore fully fall in the world of the art.
The volume costs €30 and can be booked by sending a request email to villamedici@villagiulini.it

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