As the oldest café in Italy—and the world, in fact—Caffè Florian recently celebrated its 300th anniversary on December 29 with no fanfare. It was a far cry from the 290th celebration in 2010, with cakes, an enormous party, and a live concert. The café famed for its celebrity clientele—from Charles Dickens to Andy Warhol—now faces closure since the pandemic has taken a toll on tourism.
The café was opened in San Marco Square in 1720 by Italian entrepreneur Floriano Francesconi (locals knew it as Floriano’s). It has been a gathering place for locals, a place to woo tourists, and a hot spot for A-listers for hundreds of years.
In 1895, the idea of the Venice Biennale was born here, to pay homage to King Umberto and Queen Margherita, and scenes from Hollywood films have been shot here, such as The Talented Mr. Ripley (starring Matt Damon) nd Summertime (starring Katharine Hepburn). Marcel Proust and Charles Dickens were frequent visitors, as well as Friedrich Nietzsche, Casanova, and Charlie Chaplin. Ernest Hemingway would sit out on the patio drinking coffee in the sun, while Claude Monet charmed the pigeons into standing on his head in the same spot.
In this week’s episode of “Cocktails with a Curator,” toast the new year with Deputy Director and Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator Xavier F. Salomon as he examines a masterpiece of both sculpture and clockmaking: “The Dance of Time,” by Clodion (Claude Michel) and Jean-Baptiste Lepaute. In this 18th-century timepiece, three terracotta nymphs or Hours dance in a circle around an exquisite mechanism enclosed in a glass globe. The Frick has one of the country’s most important collections of clocks, many of which came to the museum through a gift from Winthrop Kellogg Edey. Welcome 2021 by raising a Metropolitan cocktail—Happy New Year!
Joseph Mallord William Turner RA, known contemporarily as William Turner, was an English Romantic painter, printmaker and watercolourist. He is known for his expressive colourisations, imaginative landscapes and turbulent, often violent marine paintings.
In the 18th century, Joseph Vernet was uncontestably the greatest landscape painter of his generation. In this episode of Anatomy of an Artwork, discover how the ambitious and poetic landscape of ‘View of Tivoli’ pays tribute to the Italy Vernet loved so dearly.
Claude-Joseph Vernet was the leading French landscape painter (with Hubert Robert) of the later 18th century. He achieved great celebrity with his topographical paintings and serene landscapes. He was also one of the century’s most accomplished painters of tempests and moonlight scenes.
Vernet was born at Avignon and trained there with his father, Antoine, and with the history painter Philippe Sauvan. He spent the years 1734 to 1752 in Rome, where he studied classical landscapes in the tradition of Claude and Gaspard Dughet, as well as the dramatic paintings of Salvator Rosa. In Rome he was influenced by the contemporary Roman topographical painter Giovanni Paolo Panini. He had many English clients and admirers in Rome, including Richard Wilson, whom Vernet is thought to have encouraged as a landscape painter.
Jean-Honoré Fragonard delighted in painting fascinating portraits. In this episode of Sotheby’s Stories, learn how he captured the true essence of character, through his mastery of observation and light.
Jean-Honoré Fragonard was a French painter and printmaker whose late Rococo manner was distinguished by remarkable facility, exuberance, and hedonism. One of the most prolific artists active in the last decades of the Ancien Régime, Fragonard produced more than 550 paintings, of which only five are dated.
Dating to circa 1765, with walls originally constructed from the ballasts of ships, and sympathetically modernized in 2012, this graceful 4-bedroom former manse of the Old Whaler’s Church offers impeccable style and irreplaceable character at a coveted address in the heart of Sag Harbor Village.
Period architectural details in the Egyptian Revival style with a whaling motif, matching that of the church, remain beautifully preserved from an addition in the mid 1800s by Minard Lafever, designer of the iconic Old Whaler’s Church. The home opens on a grand 50′ hallway of brick, waxed, Venetian plaster, dentil molding, and the original wide plank, pumpkin pine floors. The living room and dining room, each adorned with fireplaces and Lafever’s authentic moldings, flank the entry and profit from the natural light of nearly full height windows which open to the charming front porch.
The entry hallway leads to the spacious and supremely stylish eat-in kitchen with bay window breakfast nook, island seating, and custom cabinetry by Dereyk Patterson, crowned by a handmade La Cornue Chateau range in Lafayette Blue. Convenient to all the charms of Sag Harbor Village, this is a rare opportunity to own a fully renovated, trophy home of exceptional character and design.
The first historical evidence related to this wonderful Tuscan estate with over three hundred hectares of grounds for sale are in a document dated 8 November 1044, found in Pisa’s State Archives.
Since then, this villa has seen a number of prestigious owners, including noble families such as the Counts Mastiani-Brunacci and Della Gherardesca, who gave their contribution into maintaining this property’s splendour throughout the centuries. The villa we see today dates back to the 17th century and includes a Renaissance garden that was carefully renovated and brought back to utmost splendour, framing what is currently a wonderful luxury resort equipped with all comforts.
The property is in the middle of a vast fauna and game reserve measuring 320 hectares and featuring unsoiled forests and stunning expanses of olive trees, besides being home to a big number of buildings that measure 18,000 sqm overall, part of which have beed restored and fit for residential use, while others are currently into disuse but may be rebuilt or renovated. The resort has been completely renovated and is home to two suites with jacuzzi and to ten bedrooms that have been carefully furnished in a Tuscan style with unique pieces.
Each room offers a wonderful view of its surroundings, the Italian-style garden, the villages nearby and leafy hills. The main body includes several warehouses, apartments of the agritourism resort and garages, but there are also a wonderful swimming pool measuring 140 sqm, a tennis court, an Italian-style garden and a park. Some extraordinary features of this Tuscan estate for sale are its private grass airport, with a hangar to store plane, a hangar for helicopters and a pad, a lake used for fishing and watering fields, and a private hunting reserve measuring over 300 hectares.
NEWSTATESMAN (August 26, 2020) – Towne (1739-1816) was born on the fringes of London and apprenticed to a coach painter, a skill that demanded the type of precise brushwork that was to become evident in all his later work. He went on to study at William Hogarth’s St Martin’s Lane Academy, Britain’s foremost school of art prior to the establishment of the Royal Academy in 1768. By a quirk of geography, the greatest British landscapist and fellow chronicler of the Lake District, JMW Turner, would be born just 100 yards away in 1775.
In 1780 he made a lengthy drawing trip to the Continent but it wasn’t until 1786 that he visited the Lake District. He proved indefatigable, making 100 drawings and watercolours over the course of two weeks: he often put brief details on the back of his work (“½ past 7 O clock/The sky a Clear warm light/mountains a solemn purple tint/the Lake reflecting the sky, the/Sun in the picture”) and so we know that on 17 August alone, for example, he made seven drawings.
In this week’s episode of “Travels with a Curator,” explore the history of St. James’s Park with Curator Aimee Ng. This popular attraction in London serves as the backdrop for Thomas Gainsborough’s “Mall in St. James’s Park,” which he painted about 1783 for George III. Originally a cockleshell-strewn court for playing pall-mall, a precursor of croquet, the Mall was a place of visual encounters, where fashionable 18th-century Londoners (and their pets) could see and be seen.