Lucrezia Borgia: scandalous or scandalised?

533 years ago this week, a girl was born whose life would prove to be so full of drama and scandal that it has been turned into a play by Victor Hugo, an opera by Donizetti (read the libretto, see …



Caravaggio: a Murderous Artist

The personalities featured on the blog this week do nothing to debunk the idea of artists having fiery temperaments. On Tuesday, we told the tale of Baroque architect Francesco Borromini, whose bitter rivalry with fellow artist Bernini is thought to …


Italy: Lorenzo Ornaghi

Arti­cle by Lorenzo Ornaghi, Minister for Cultural Heritage and Activities: The Holy Family (Tondo Doni) Uffizi Gallery Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564) Panel painting, diam. cm. 120 (with the frame, cm. 172) Traditionally it is believed that this masterpiece was  commissioned by Agnolo …


The Art of Seduction: Giacomo Casanova

Giacomo Casanova, Venetian adventurer and writer, was born on April 2nd 1725 in the Republic of Venice. During the 18th century for Casanova, as well as other upper class nobles, love and sex tended to be casual and not attached to …


Maestà in all its beauty

The latest collection from the Kunsthistorische Institut in Florenz includes the renowned work of the Italian painter Simone di Martino – Maestà. Simone di Martino (c. 1284–1344) was the key figure in the development of early Italian painting and the International …