Inglesi Ingessati

Ciao a tutti!

SO on Wednesday night I attended a lecture, as part of the Institute’s centenary cultural programme, on the sculptor Lorenzo Bartolini, focusing in particular on his busts of English nobility. Now you can probably guess by my blog title Inglesi Ingessanti (literally meaning Englishmen cast in plaster) that this talk was in Italian! It was so amazing to be able to understand a lecture fully in Italian, I feel like all aspects of the language now come more naturally; without my time here in Florence I would never have been able to follow such discourse!

Now another super cool aspect of this talk was that it was given by none other than the Director, Cecilie Hollberg, of the Galleria dell’Accademia- Florence’s second most visited gallery after the Uffizi and home to Michelangelo’s David!! As Hollberg is in fact German, it was incredible to hear her native fluency and beautiful Italian accent that I am out here working hard to achieve!

Hollberg shared with us an overview of Bartolini and his time in Florence. To my disbelief, Bartolini had a studio on the road Jules and I live on, which we visited together on one of our first nights here in Florence. The studio is now owned by Charles H. Cecil and via the Institute you can enrol on one of his art courses. The beautiful Gipsoteca room at the Accademia is actually modelled on the original studio of Bartolini pictured above.

For the majority of the lecture Hollberg talked us through different busts of English aristocrats, which were part of the artist’s vast collection. Pictured below is my favourite bust of Louisa Barbara Catherine Philips, Countess of Lichfield (c.1800-1879). I love how Bartolini can capture the personality of his subject solely through their expression, and of course the rabbit she holds is rather endearing. Funnily enough, this bust is no longer in Florence BUT actually at the National Trust property Shugborough Estate!

Louisa Barbara Catherine Philips, Countess of Lichfield (c.1800-1879) holding a Rabbit
Louisa Barbara Catherine Philips, Countess of Lichfield

My idiom of today is how one can describe how they most likely feel on a friday night after a busy week!!

Sono cotto come una melanzana (literally translation: I’m cooked like an aubergine/eggplant) but used like “I’m tired” or “I’m pooped!”

Wishing you all a lovely weekend, be it relaxing or fun-packed!


Mills X

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