Pirelli Calendar 2013 Shows Social Humanitarian Commitment

“After taking it all off for 39 straight years, the notoriously racy Pirelli calendar has buttoned up, delivering a 2013 edition Tuesday — in flamboyant Rio de Janeiro of all places — with nary a nude in sight,” say the Associated Press.   The calendar was the brainchild of American photojournalist and war photographer Steve McCurry.

McCurry: “I would say I am a street photographer doing ‘found situations.’ You can photograph nudes anywhere. But these models are clothed, and each of them has her own charity. They are purposeful and idealistic people. So I wanted to photograph them in a special place, and Rio was perfect for this.”

Heading to Art Basel Miami

Alighiero Boetti

Alighiero Boetti

From December 6 through 9, Miami Beach, Florida, will host the 11th edition of Art Basel, the most prestigious art show in the Americas. More than 260 leading galleries from North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa will take part, showcasing works by more than 2,000 artists of the 20th and 21st centuries.  Read more. . .

Looking forward to seeing works by Michelangelo Pistoletto, Francesco Vezzoli, Lara Favarotto, and Alighiero Boetti among others.

The Macy’s Christmas Light Show: A Philadelphia Holiday Tradition since 1955

If you’re in the neighborhood, don’t miss The Macy’s Christmas Light Show at Macy’s Center City, a Philadelphia holiday tradition since 1955. A  perfect family outing, the Christmas Light Show and Wanamaker Organ Concert at Macy’s is a Philadelphia holiday tradition that dates back half a century. During the light show, more than 100,000 bright, energy-efficient LED lights combine to create fantastic holiday images. The lighting display is accompanied by festive music from the world-renowned Wanamaker Grand Org. Watch snowflakes, ballerinas and reindeer float beyond the four-story-high velvet curtain of the Grand Court atrium.

Bodies and Shadows: Caravaggio and His Legacy @ LACMA

Bodies and Shadows: Caravaggio and His Legacy, on exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art  (LACMA) until February 10, 2013,  introduces the work of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571–1610), one of the most popular artists of the past, rivaling in fame both Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. The stories of Caravaggio’s life are legend, more myth than history, describing traits of personality, including passion and brutality, that came to describe the unique qualities of his work. The exhibition, made up of 56 works in all, including a record eight works by Caravaggio himself, covers the evolution of his style. Caravaggio’s legacy is expressed in work by about twenty artists from Italy, Spain, France and the Netherlands who carried into the late 17th century the strangeness, beauty and raw emotion of his work. Read more . . .

Caravaggio, Saint John the Baptist in the Wilderness

Caravaggio, Saint John the Baptist in the Wilderness

Happy Thanksgiving! The Feast of the Gods by Giovanni Bellini and Titian

This famous canvas, The Feast of the Gods, formed the key element in one of the finest domestic decorative schemes of the Italian Renaissance—the private study of Alfonso d’Este, duke of Ferrara. The duke commissioned the two leading painters from Venice—first Giovanni Bellini and, later, his former pupil Titian—to depict bacchanals or revelries with mythological themes for the study. Begun by 1511, the room in the castle at Ferrara came to be called the Alabaster Chamber after its alabaster sculpture.

The Mythological Subject

The ribald theme comes from The Feasts (Fasti), a long classical poem by Ovid that recounts the origins of many ancient Roman rites and festivals. Ovid (43 B.C.–A.D. 17), describing a banquet given by the god of wine, mentioned an incident that embarrassed Priapus, god of virility.

The beautiful nymph Lotis, shown reclining at the far right, was lulled to sleep by wine. Priapus, overcome by lust, seized the opportunity to take advantage of her and is portrayed bending forward to lift her skirt. His attempt was foiled when an ass, seen at the left, “with raucous braying, gave out an ill-timed roar. Awakened, the startled nymph pushed Priapus away, and the god was laughed at by all.” Priapus, his pride wounded, took revenge by demanding the annual sacrifice of a donkey.

The ass stands next to Silenus, a woodland deity who used the beast to carry firewood. Silenus wears a keg on his belt because he was a follower of Bacchus, god of wine. Bacchus himself, seen as an infant, kneels before them while decanting wine into a crystal pitcher.

The Feast of Gods

National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial

National Law Enforcement Memorial

National Law Enforcement Memorial

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C., at Judiciary Square, honors the more than 19,000 U.S. law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty throughout history. The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund was established by former U.S. Representative Mario Biaggi (D-NY), a 23-year New York City police veteran who was wounded in the line of duty over 10 times before retiring in 1965.

Italian Armed Forces Day Celebrated in Washington, DC

Italian Armed Forces Day was commemorated in Washington, DC  with a mass at the Italian Church, Holy Rosary on November 4,   and on the following day, with a reception at the Italian Embassy.  The Italian Ambassador Claudio Bisogniero, General Giovanni Fantuzzi, and the Embassy diplomatic corps joined the Holy Rosary Church parishioners Sunday in a solemn  mass in honor of the fallen soldiers .In particular, special observance was made of the following soldiers who died in the line of duty during the past year: Giovanni Gallo, Francesco Currò, Paolo Messineo, Luca Valente, Michele Silvestri, Manuele Bray, and Tiziano Chierotti.  At the end of the Mass, Amb. Bisogniero delivered brief remarks noting the sacrifices of Italian troops in places such as Afghanistan, where they serve side-by-side with America troops to defend the shared values of both countries.

On Tuesday, November 5, the Italian Embassy celebrated Italian Armed Forces Day with a reception at the Embassy’s Piazza Italia attended by senior representatives from the U.S. military and federal government, together with representatives of the Italian American community.  In their brief remarks, both Amb. Bisogniero and  General Fantuzzi underscored the extraordinary commitment of the Italian Armed Forces to peace missions throughout the world.  Amb. Bisogniero also noted that Armed Forces Day was also an opportunity to reinforce the ties and friendships between Italy and the United States.

Italy celebrates Armed Forces Day on November 4th each year to mark the end of World War I in 1918, which ended in victory but took the lives of 650,000 Italians.