Thursday, July 26, 2018

Out to Nuoro, Nuroghelosa and the Giants of Monte Prama

Images of the Nuroghelosa and the little one taking in

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and the masters of Montmartre.

Our last day at Agriturismo Casa  Marmida, I had a walk around the farm to say goodbye to some of the pigs, dogs, donkeys, billy goats, and a puppy whose greeted me every day.  Funny how the sounds become a part of you, even after just a couple of days.
Today, we’re making our way East.  But we don’t have too many plans, beyond lunch in Nuoro.
I love seeing the landscapes, the trees, the farmers, the landscape.  It feels like Joshua Tree out there. We make our way between the moderns and the ancients through island. The Greeks called  the island, ichnusa, their word for footprint.  Today, it’s the name for the local beer.  Wandering in the footsteps of so many other travelers and people, we journey East. DH Lawrence wrote in famously foreboding tones of his way to Nuoro.
Funny how those moods follow us.  We wanted to see the Giants of Mont'e Prama, the ancient stone sculptures created by the Nuragic civilization here.   They were discovered in March 1974, near Mont'e Prama,  Today, they livs in museums throughout the island.
I’m drawn to see a few.
A sign points to Nuroghelosa of Abbasanta, one of  the nuraghe throughout the land from 2000 to 1600 BC.
“They were a non-hierarchical society, building this nuraghe all over the island.  Theses were spaces for community.  But they were overrun by the Phoenicians, the people from Cypress, and eventually the Romans,” notes the woman selling coffee inside.
Nuraghelosa.provides a context for the Nuraghe Losa Abbasanta:

Visiting the Archaeological Park of the Nuraghe Losa is like plunging deep into Sardinian Prehistory.

We walk into the stone foundations.  It  feels like a mystery.  Like the Mayas in Mexico and the indigenous people of Ireland, but we knew little about these people, who they were. Still, the people of Sardinia are their descendants, like many of us, are descendants of the Neanderthals.

Finishing the tour, we continue our drive East to Nuoro in central-eastern Sardinia, off the slopes of the Monte Ortobene.
Arriving the city feels empty. It’s a Sunday.  Much is closed. The streets are filled with graffiti against fascism and military bases, “No Basi”
We find one little restaurant open and explore a bit, making our way to the arts quarter for a show about the Belle Epoque at Museum of Art Nuoro on Via Satta.  Its full of the Mucha  posts and  lithographs we fell in love with the summer before in Prague and Paris, images of charactors from the demi monde.

La Boheme

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and the masters of Montmartre

At the end of the nineteenth century the industrial revolution determined a drastic social change throughout Europe, with ambivalent consequences. If industrialization dictated brutal working conditions, at the same time it made available a large number of new consumer goods along with leisure time entertainment opportunities. Taking advantage of these new assets and witnessing the rapid multiplication of entertainment opportunities allowed to escape for a short time from the harsh reality of hard daily work.
These products and opportunities needed to be promoted and conveyed and mass advertising became essential, opening up new ground for artists, graphic designers and printers.
This rapid development allowed artists like Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and his contemporaries to rapidly revolutionize graphic reproduction, thus marking the beginning of a new independent artistic discipline: traditional graphic printing became the art of the poster.
The exhibition La Bohème exhibits the exceptional lithographic work of Henri deToulouse-Lautrec, presented in a close interaction with the works of his predecessors and contemporaries, who lived and experimented in the Paris of the Belle Époque . This panoramic perspective allows visitors to closely follow the origins of modern mass advertising.
The presentation, at the MAN - Museum of Art of the Province of Nuoro in Sardinia, is the first stage of an exhibition tour that will involve several international museums.
When Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec moved to Paris as a young adult, he soon became a narrator of life in the French capital, a painter of the fascinating demi-monde and his places: the real ateliers of his work became the racecourses, the circuses, theaters of prose and music, cabarets and brothels.
Of those places the artist directly portrayed the actors and spectators, with passion and without filters. Toulouse-Lautrec made fun of the elitespectators , illustrating them in a caricatural manner and raising to stars of his works the most humble protagonists of that world - singers, dancers and even prostitutes. Through its loving and shameless representation of Parisian life, the spirit of that era was rooted forever in the work of Toulouse-Lautrec and has remained intact to this day.
To facilitate the publication of his observations on the modern and nocturnal life of Paris, Toulouse-Lautrec began to experiment with the lithographic printing from the second half of the eighties of the nineteenth century. He used this technique in his artistic production and inaugurated a real revolution in lithography by means of the large dimensions of the works, the richness of the saturated colors, the brushstrokes and the mixed plaster and spray techniques.
In just ten years, until his death in 1901, he produced 368 lithographic prints and posters that he always considered of equal importance to that of his paintings and drawings. Even today his name is linked to the posters of Jane Avril, Yvette Guilbert and Aristide Bruant, who have long since become classics in the history of art.
Before Toulouse-Lautrec, Jules Chéret and Pierre Bonnard made use of the poster in the publicity of several shows. When Toulouse-Lautrec began to experiment with lithography, his contemporaries, established artists such as Alfons Mucha and Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen used the same technique and were also able to create real masterpieces. During the lifetime of these artists and thanks to their work, lithographic prints and posters acquired a new status , from simple advertising tools to a new artistic genre of recognized value.
Organized in six sections, it is not only Toulouse-Lautrec's Paris that comes to life in this exhibition, but also that of its predecessors and contemporaries. Most of the posters on display are advertisements for Parisian nightlife appointments, usually combined with the announcement of a live show. Other posters promote different services and products - the luxury objects of the working class of the time.
Later, we wander looking for the House of Grazia Deledda. Its too much to find it.
Her words are posted all over the city.
Her most famous novel is Cosmina:
The house was simple, but comfortable: two rooms per floor, large, a bit 'low, with low ceilings and wooden ceilings; whitewashed with lime; the entrance divided in the middle by a wall: on the right the staircase, the first ramp of granite steps, the rest of slate; on the left some steps descending into the cellar. The solid door, fastened with a big iron hook, had a hammer-beating knocker, and a bolt and a lock with the key as big as a castle's key. The room to the left of the entrance was used for many purposes, with a high and hard bed, a desk, a large wardrobe, walnut, chairs almost rustic, stuffed, brightly painted blue: the one on the right was the dining room, with a chestnut table, chairs like the others, a fireplace with a beaten floor. Nothing else. A solid door, even though it was stopped by hooks and bolts, placed in the kitchen. And the kitchen was, as in all the houses still patriarchal, the most populated environment, warmer than life and intimacy.
There was a fireplace, but also a central fireplace, marked by four stone lists: and above, at a man's height, attached with four haircords, to the large beams of the ceiling of reeds blackened by smoke, a trellis of a square meter, on which they were almost always exposed to the smoke that hardened them, small forms of pecorino cheese, of which the smell spread all around. And, in turn, attached to a corner of the trellis, hung a primitive oil lamp, of black iron, with four spouts; a sort of square pan, in whose open oil swirled the wick that faced one of the beaks.
Leaving we make our way to Lotzorai and the Lemon House we will call home for the next few days. 

No comments:

Post a Comment