This is a look back at a post written at the end of May, 2016. It’s about a small museum in Naples, Italy whose founder sought to save the skills and treasures of craftsmen before they were buried by the Industrial Revolution. There is care and pride in every detail.
This piece, first published in April 2016, was written after my first visit to the Madre in Naples. I loved the museum’s calm space, the range of its exhibits … and its roof terrace.
Art is a place to be, a place that tries to reach us, provoke us. It swallows the rules, the clocks, the to and fro, and waits for us to respond.
Much of Naples itself is art – ancient, modern, faded, alive – but it does not have the quiet, the spaces between, that the Madre brings to its displays. This is the luxury of a visit to the Madre, the chance to leave the hectic city and step into its calm.
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A look back (first published 9 March 2016): the Villa Pignatelli – owned by the Actons, the Rothschilds, and the Pignatellis – is now a museum and, together with its carriage display, well worth a visit if you’re lucky enough to be in Chiaia in Napoli.
This villa – white and recently restored – sits in the lap of one of the most crowded cities in Europe. It has the blue sea to its front, colour behind, and is wrapped in an exclusive coat of green.
Its striking, classical profile is very different to the buildings that now surround it.
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