A Visit to Trieste

Trieste, what a pleasant surprise!! An often overlooked gem of the Adriatic, TRIESTE provided lots of beautiful sites and emotions.

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We visited the Castle of MiramareMiramare, which stands on the tip of the promontory of Grignano. Commissioned and built between 1856 and 1860 by Archduke Maximilian of Austria, also eventually Emperor of Mexico, the building is positioned overlooking the sea, providing a stunning view of the Gulf of Trieste.

The Castello is surrounded by 22 hectars of a beautiful botanical garden and its interiors feature sumptuous original historical furniture. Miramare has more than 20 rooms including Maximilian’s bedroom, furnished as a ship’s cabin. The poet Giosue Carducci speaks of the “white towers” of Miramare, with its English and Italian style garden, stepping down towards the sea with a beautiful ‘Scalinata’.

What a fabulous place to visit, don’t miss it!! We wholeheartedly  recommend it  :-)


The birth of modern art in Italy – Giotto and Cimabue

How Modern Italian Art Was Born

Expulsion of the Money Changers from the Temple
Expulsion of the Money Changers from the Temple

Slowly and painfully, over several centuries, Western Europe began to pick herself up from the ruins of the Roman Empire in the 10th century. During this period the Eastern half of the Empire was still relatively intact, and it was culturally and artistically far advanced over the West. What little art originated in Italy and in the rest of Europe followed slavishly the Byzantine paradigm. This paradigm consisted of an abstract aesthetic which, though traceable to Roman and Hellenic antecedents, had abandoned the representational rendition of the natural world for a more formalized and non-naturalistic approach meant to stimulate in the viewer feelings of spirituality and piety, as was perhaps fitting in a society which was pervasively dominated by two institutions, the Empire and the Church. Visually then, Byzantine art was characterized by stylized figures of a supernatural monumentality and abstraction. Its purpose was to express man’s aspiration to the divine – the figures are absolutely bidimensional and stereotypical, and only in the faces one notes feeble attempts at some sort of realism. There is no spatial perspective, all figures are in the same plane.

Giotto appeared on the Italian artistic scene in the second half of the 13th century. It is said of him that, as an unschooled young boy, he was discovered by Cimabue in the act of drawing the outlines of the sheep he was tending on a stone slab with a pointed rock. Giotto’s drawings so much impressed Cimabue that he at once talked to the boy’s father and asked to have the boy come and live with him and be his apprentice. Permission being granted, Giotto was launched on a career which would eventually make him into a symbol of artistic virtuosity and innovation, a cultural myth in his own time, accorded a stature and a reputation which has continually grown over the centuries. The master, Cimabue, was no mean artist himself, and had already begun the process of freeing Italian painting from the stylistic strictures of Byzantine art. But the pupil, Giotto, eclipsed the master in very short order, and spread his art and his methods all over Italy. In the service of the ruling lords of the times, Giotto produced works in Florence, Rome, Naples, Rimini, Padova, Bologna, Milan, etc. Much of his work has been lost, victim to the ravages of time and those destructive acts attendant to wars, invasions and ignorance, and one must rely on chroniclers such as Vasari. And controversies still abound in artistic circles regarding the authorship of some of the works that are attributed to him. Nevertheless, there is unanimous consensus on the importance of this larger-than-life Italian artist who gave a new impetus and a new direction to Italian art, and, consequently, to the art of the entire Western world.

In brief, what Giotto did was to redefine the entire artistic paradigm of the time. The purpose of painting and its attendant aesthetic changed under the brush of Giotto. Art became realistic and representational; no longer stylized and abstract, it was now a representation of human emotions and passions. Humanity was its proper province, humanity was worthy of being represented and preserved for posterity, and this was ennobling and empowering. In the quest for salvation human values were no longer to be suppressed for an abstract, cold and unattainable spirituality; they were also precious and important. The physical world also changed: space was readmitted and redimensioned, the sense of volume was captured, colors were themselves elevated. Some time would still have to pass before the full flowering of the Italian Renaissance and the perspective of Brunelleschi, but the first step, solid and sure, belonged to Giotto in the waning years of the 13th century.

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Why Italians Produce Much Of The Best Art In History

Art and Artists of Italy

statuaRomana Italian PaintingAccording to some astonishing statistics about the country and its art, sixty percent of artwork and artisans in the world belong to Italy.  A known study illustrates that the knowledge and understanding of Italian art and artists by an average Italian is often better than that of students of art from any other nation.   Art is part of the heritage of Italy as if it were  in the Italian blood, and every town seems to be able to lay claim to some famous artist.

Featuring the work of extraordinary Italian artists

The art featured on Finest Italian is part of an effort to make the products of  the hard work and talent of Italian artists known and available to the whole world. The website includes the work of Italian painting masters and of young talented artists who have a strong and rich background in the traditions of Italian art. The website evaluates and promotes only those artists who have made substantial contributions in Italian art, thus bringing the best of Italian artwork right on your doorsteps.

Immense work of Italian Artists

Artists and painters of Italy, from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance period, up to contemporary times, have successfully made significant contributions to the world’s artistic patrimony. Browsing through the website,  you will be struck with wonder and admiration by their collective artistic prowess. Every culture has made its contribution and left its mark on the artistic patrimony of the world, but Italian artists continue to amaze with their inventiveness, their skill in execution, their mastery of ancient techniques, and with the passion they always manage to infuse into each and every work of art.

Italian work symbolizing an ancient culture

Many of the “-isms” of modern art trace their origin to trends and movements in Italian art.  The current of artistic development in the West begins with Cimabue and Giotto, crests in the Florentine Quattrocento, and repeatedly subdivides through the baroque and mannerist periods to give us the multiform fashions of modernism.  Italian works of art in your home are not just art qua art, but milestones along the extraordinarily rich and convoluted historical pathways  that have led us to the artistic paradigms of our day.

Ever growing collection of Italian paintings and other artwork

Finest Italian is proud to bring you a small sampling of this rich artistic tradition.  Our offerings include original renderings of seascapes, landscapes and cityscapes, immediately recognizable as Italian.  We bring you beautiful and practical ceramics originally designed and executed by hand, nostalgic black and white artistic photos that evoke the mystique of this country that has meant so much to the world, silver and glass wrought into elegant and unique shapes by dedicated artisans, and much more.  We are constantly expanding our selections and seeking out new artists to add to our community.  And we bring you all this with an eminently practical twist: our community of artists is composed of members who predominantly live and work in the United States.  So you can purchase your very own piece of Italy from us without the uncertainties of fluctuating currency exchange rates, without the perils and expense of overseas shipping, without a language barrier, and without complex return or exchange rules.

So go ahead and browse through our pages, feast your eyes, and when you are ready place your order.  We promise you an enjoyable and satisfying shopping experience.

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