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Not an indifferent reader.

“… Il convient d’introduire ici une distinction, classique en philosophie, entre repentir et remords : le premier reconnaît la faute pour mieux s’en separer, goûter la grâce de la convalescence, le second s’y maintient par besoin maladif d’en éprouver les brûlures…”[1]


‘MEETmeTONIGHT’[2] is the annual review of Universitary Research in Italy and this year had a single macro theme, ‘The future’: the appointment with dr. Laura Musazzi[3] was about the consequences of the stress on the brain, which indeed – in my opinion – proves itself ‘not an indifferent reader’, as it is also able to judge about individual suffering when communicated to our organs in order to activate a defense.

As we know, in each one of us the neurons change physiologically their shape when just facing anxiety and by a progressive contraction of the  dendrites, responsible for transmitting signals to the organs : it furtherly seems that the muscle activity – which we give space willingly to, when anxiety begins – can compensate that excessive, or prolonged, contraction we produce when stressed, so to favour the presence of beneficial neurotransmitters, the endorphins.

But I was wondering if the sole muscle activity – which can prove also aggressive other than detrimental as we often learn by journalistic reports – even allows our trained body to produce heavier and more prolonged stress loads, with harmful and then uncontrollable effects.

“Anxiety is not outside of us…” was a fair annotation I heard at the beginning of the ‘talk’, but not sufficient in its definitiveness : infact, when you live anxiety without any other ‘placebo’ than your own muscle activity, even pharmacologically fortified, you can incur in a further frustration, but admissible with difficulty.

I think that if the brain is ‘not an indifferent reader’ of one’s body – we’re finally beginning to know something about – which means that our brain can easily acknowledge what anxiety suggests : that is a distance from an a-sexual model, not at all looking like us and – as our own production of stress shows, physiologically and also pathologically, exposing us to a cross and generalized target shooting.


                                                 Marina Bilotta Membretti / Cernusco sul Naviglio - December 11, 2020



[1] “La tyrannie de la pénitence”, by Pascal Bruckner – É É ÉÉditions Grasset & Fasquelle (2006), pp.53-54.

[2] Adhering to the anti Covid19 rules, the review took place online, so offering a number of interesting shortest ‘talks’, each one lasting twenty minutes included questions from the audience, and about specific topics in the five areas of interest, ‘Health’, ‘Humanities’, ‘Smart cities’, ‘Sustainability’, ‘Technology’.

[3] Laura Musazzi is associate professor of ‘Farmacologia’ at the ‘Università degli Studi Milano-Bicocca’, Deparment of ‘Medicina e Chirurgia’ : the ‘talk’ November 28, 2020 was titled ‘Un cervello sotto stress’.

“Everything in its place”[1].

In the five hundredth anniversary of Raffaello Sanzio[2] of Urbino.


Original painting by Stefano Frassetto[3].



Vasari[4] says that Giovanni de’ Santi, Raffaello’s father, was so happy for the birth of his son that he didn’t want send him to nurse, and “let his mother breastfeed him”, while “by all the good and excellent manners possible at the time” the child was immediately initiated and trained to painting in his father’s workshop at Urbino : as soon as in age, his father introduced him in Perugia to the workshop of Pietro Perugino who accepted the child in apprenticeship, and where Raffaello stood out for how he studied Pietro’s manner, also imitating him to the point that it was not easy to distinguish the work of the pupil from that of the master.

Thanks to his fine manners that very few of his predecessors demonstrated, Raffaello soon obtained high-ranking orders, first in Siena – where Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo already were working – then in Florence where he begun to teach ‘Perspective’ in which he was excellent indeed and that especially interested him, since maybe town planning and architecture were the real novelties to the Renaissance artist, no longer just a decorator or poet but philosopher and theorist in all respects[5].  

He met and appreciated Albrecht Dürer[6] from whom he had a few engravings done on his own drawing.

Little is said about Raffaello’ special talent and sensuality of love, which Vasari indicates in his portraying human features : so that, for example “La Velata” (1516) and “La Fornarina” (about 1519), which even are inspired by “Amor sacro e Amor profano” (1515) of his contemporary Tiziano Vecellio, are not indeed didactic and tedious pedagogical portraits, unlike the other.

He came back to Perugia, where he was a guest of the Duke of Montefeltro, then again to Florence where new orders called him, and finally to Rome in 1508, where the Pope Julius II – who had ordered the demolition of the Vatican basilica dating back to the emperor Constantine due to the barbarian Middle Age contaminations – commissioned to Raffaello a series of frescoes for the new Library and Ecclesiastic Court in the ‘Stanza della Segnatura’ of the ‘Palazzi Apostolici’, where theology was peak and balance of human philosophies.

In the meanwhile Raffaello, who already had set up – unlike Michelangelo - a profitful workshop with talented collaborators, came to meet the expectations of his client, without neglecting just a little ironic look about what he was painting : that encyclopedic figurative work to which he seems having been accompanied step by step by cultured papal officials.

And so, his “School of Athens” opens to the viewer a heterogeneous disorder with the everlasting discussion in the centre between Plato, the real leading character of the fresco pointing to Heaven of Ideas, and his pupil Aristotle offering his “Ethics” to human processing. All around them a number of recognizable characters, portrayed in realistic guises of fellow artists and contemporaries of Raffaello : Socrates - Plato’s teacher -, Pythagoras with the perfection of the number, the Berber Averroes, Euclid, Heraclitus, Zoroaster, Diogenes to name a few.

None of them looks at the viewer, each one is taken by his own ‘good’ theory, arguing and supporting it , when possible, with loyal disciples. And although the timeless Heaven which lights up the scene, gives no indication of the time, the date indicates 1503 October 31, the day of the election of Giuliano della Rovere to the papal throne with the name of Giulio III.

Here is finally represented the grandeur and the harmony of Architecture, that at the same time receives, supports and introduces, to the audience and to the History, both motion and features of philosophers and scientists.

Does so an Order precede, accept the human disorder and, while making it clear and unpleasant, is also able to raise it offering space and listening?

Raffaello seems to share what his client thinks, however he gives the only woman in the fresco – Ipazia, with good reason, the Alexandrian mathematician who here wears a white sheer dress and looks incredibly like Raffaello himself, also portrayed on the opposite and symmetric side – that precise gaze which seeks the viewer and asks a judgement, a feedback and an aswer, so making itself an indispensable link of imputation for benefit and wealth.



                                         Marina Bilotta Membretti / Cernusco sul Naviglio – September 12, 2020 




[1] “Everything in its place” is the title of an essay by Oliver Sacks, published posthumously, where the neurologist points out the pathological aspect of melancholy and compulsion, for which an indispensable condition is that ‘everything is in its place’, even at the cost of tampering with reality at one’s fixation. On the other hand Sacks indicates in ‘one’s putting order’ the quality of patients who come to heal, as they make themselves able to ‘put order’ starting from a mental disorder which is present in any pathology.


[2] In 2020 occurs the five hundredth anniversary of Raffaello Sanzio death whom Giorgio Vasari remembers in “Le Vite de’ più eccellenti architetti, pittori, et scultori italiani, da Cimabue insino a’ tempi nostri” ‘Nell’edizione per i tipi di Lorenzo Torrentino, Firenze 1550’ (Einaudi ‘ET Classici’ 2015, Vol.II p.611 e p.639).“Nacque Rafaello in Urbino città notissima l’anno MCCCCLXXXIII (1483 - ndr), in Venerdì Santo a ore tre di notte… Poi confesso e contrito finì il corso della sua vita il giorno medesimo ch’e’ nacque, che fu il Venerdì Santo d’anni XXXVII (37anni, quindi era il 1520 – ndr)…” 


[3] Stefano Frassetto is born in Turin in 1968. After his degree in Architecture at ‘Politecnico’ he begun as graphic novelist for local magazines. In the ‘90s he edited in France, on ‘Le Réverbère’ and on ‘Libération’ : then he created ‘Ippo’ for ‘Il Giornalino’ and then the stripe ‘35MQ’ for the swiss magazine ‘20 Minuti’. In 2000 he came into ‘La Stampa’ newspaper as portraitist for cultural page and the insert ‘Tuttolibri’, then for the weekly ‘Origami’. Today he works also for the swiss magazine ‘Le Temps’. In 2022 Frassetto published his first comic review ‘35MQ : 2012/2022 Dieci anni di inettitudine’.


[4] “Le Vite de’ più eccellenti architetti, pittori, et scultori italiani, da Cimabue insino a’ tempi nostri”, Giorgio Vasari ‘Nell’edizione per i tipi di Lorenzo Torrentino, Firenze 1550’ - Einaudi ‘ET Classici’ 2015, Vol.II pg.611


[5] Leon Battista Alberti published “De pictura” (1435) ed il “De re aedificatoria” (1485), the first theoretical treatises about painting, engraving, architecture.


[6] “Le Vite de’ più eccellenti architetti, pittori, et scultori italiani, da Cimabue insino a’ tempi nostri”, Giorgio Vasari ‘Nell’edizione per i tipi di Lorenzo Torrentino, Firenze 1550’ - Einaudi ‘ET Classici’ 2015, Vol.II pg.629


Born in a USed frame[1].

Costantino Nivòla, between Salvatore Fancello and Le Corbusier.

The detail of an elegant  ‘frivolitè’ embroidered insert on a linen byssus tablecloth, teal coloured.



“…Psychoanalysis consists in walking on all fours – that is partnership, without confusion of subjects or legs – which, if it ends well, still remain as an endowment (or dowry) for the following life too”[2].


Born at Orani, near Nuoro (Sardinia, Italy) in 1911, fifth of ten siblings, his father as a bricklayer, Costantino Nivòla soonest stood out for his own strong talent in drawing : even working as a hod-man with father and brothers, in 1926 he was called as an apprentice to the painter Mario Delitala at Sassari town, where he then received assignments from new clients until 1931, when he could move to Monza thanks to a modest scholarship obtained from the ‘Consiglio dell’Economia Corporativa’ of Nuoro, in order to attend the ‘Istituto Superiore per le Industrie Artistiche’.

At ‘I.S.I.A.’ in Monza-MB Italy he met Salvatore Fancello and Giovanni Pintori, both of them younger than him and coming from Sardinia too : with them in 1934 he will organiz a painting exhibition in Nuoro, buti t was not warmly welcomed. In the same year he was suspended from the Institute as he refused to give a Roman salute, and avoided the expulsion only thanks to Gianni Ticca, a generous entrepreneur from Sassari who had commissioned to Costantino the first early works : returned to the I.S.I.A., he met the young Ruth Guggenheim, of Jewish origin, who was attending the same Institute and who in a few years would have become his own wife.

In the company of the Sardinian youngmen, whom Ruth and Renata Guggenheim joined, Costantino was standing out for his entrepreneurship and communication skill, involving Salvatore Fancello[3] among others, orphaned of father and mother, and clearly burdened with economical  responsibilities towards sisters and brothers at Dorgali (Sardinia) : already talented, five years younger than Nivòla, Salvatore was passionately attending at I.S.I.A.’s Course for potters; Costantino deemed him gifted with talent in painting which in the following years would have made him appreciated as an artist and no more just as a decorator. Last of twelve siblings, Salvatore Fancello was expressing an early talent in drawing, so much that his teachers made sure that he continued his studies instead of going to work as it used in the poorest families  : “It is noted that the pupil Fancello (…) has a marked tendency for drawing and the applied arts, and he is deserving of all help…”[4] He could so work as an apprentice with other selected fellows in the potter’s workshop of Ciriaco Piras, and a few photographs still remain of that time : the work-shop was famous throughout Sardinia because it exported manufactured items thanks to ongoing orders, and from this experience Salvatore Fancello got pretious connections which brought in, still in the first years at Monza, dedicated commissions. Around 1934 the ‘Creazione Fancello‘ brand was born with his own decorated items, and reported on Milan ‘Domus’ magazine, directed by the architect and designer Giò Ponti : his admirer and loyal supporter was Giulio Carlo Argan, famous teacher and critic of Art.

In order to manufacture dishes and commissioned vases, Salvatore sent tight technical specifics to his brother-in-law’s work-shop at Dorgali: “On faces and on hands you can leave the ‘terracotta’ colour as it is beautiful. Pay attention to the colours and don’t do candy things. Colours have to be neat (small mixtures). As you can see I’ve made a few sketches, so that seems enough to me to give you an idea of the colour. Then you, who are right there and daily watch at the costumes, know them more than me…”[5]

Monza’s I.S.I.A. is an emanation of the ‘Società Umanitaria’ in Milan, a famous Socialist institution for worker assistance, associated with Monza and Milan municipalities in order to manage a state-of-the-art vocational training school education for future ‘Masters of Art’ : in those rich years at Monza, from taciturn and solitary Salvatore Fancello rapidly became an attentive and cultured interlocutor towards his own teachers who appreciated and were encouraging his art inspired by the dreamlike and to a fanciful re-interpretation of hieratic characters, animals, plants, landscapes until his satisfactory participation to the ‘VI Triennale’ at the ‘Palazzo dell’Arte’ of Milan – where since 1936 he moved together with Nivòla and Pintori – with a large wall, scratched with an ironically colonial subject and a mosaic of lithoceramic tiles, he signed together with Costantino Nivòla. The immediately following years were full of reviews from critics and prestigious orders : he’ve been working at Padua, Albisola (near Savona), and at last he received the commission for a commemorative panel, with a white feminine figure on a background of deep blue colour of about 12 square meters from the architect Giuseppe Pagano – who, as an antifascist will die in the Nazi lager of Mauthausen six years later – for the canteen of the “Luigi Bocconi” University in Milan, installed in 1941 and financed by the artist himself, who in the meantime had been called to arms, notwithstanding many friends did their best to avoid to him the Albanian front where instead he would have died in March of the same year.

Already in 1938 Costantino chose to move to the United States with his wife Ruth, after learning that his friend and Sardinian painter Carmelo Floris was arrested and that Nivòla himself was wanted. Salvatore Fancello, who at that time was starting a correspondence with Renata, Ruth’s sister, didn’t answer the invitation to join the friend, nor insisted in order to obtain the exemption from the military service. His gift for Costantino’s wedding remains that very very long (668 cm x 29,4) “Disegno ininterrotto” at Indian ink and watercoloured on teleprinter paper which Fancello was always supplied with, a ‘continuum’ of days preluding the wedding where to the homesick due to a too short childhood are connected anxieties and silent recommendations about the heritage of a culture, the Sardinian one, by now so far away : that work remained by Giovanni Pintori who could deliver it  to the couple just when the war ended[6].

In Milan, working together in 1937 for the setting up of the ‘Padiglione Italiano’ at the ’Esposizione Internazionale’ in Paris, Costantino met Spanish artists with whom he matured antifascist sentiments, and also at Paris, where he stayed for a while with Ruth before continuing to the United States, he offered articles for the journal of the ‘Giustizia e Libertà’ movement : arrived in New York he found a job as ‘art director’ for the magazine Interiors, so meeting architects and also European design specialists like Gropius, Breuer, as well as De Kooning, Léger, Pollock with whom he built friendships; he adhered to the ‘Mazzini Society’, an antifascist association attended also by Franco Modigliani and Toscanini and as well he met the young architect Peter Blake. Between 1944 and 1946 his children Pietro and Claire were born, and he had his first exhibition at the ‘MoMa’ of New York.

The holding of Jung theories[7] in the United States, which landed there with popularity, however didn’t satisfy him, and particularly that ‘collective unconscious’ which Jung had hung to immanent archetypals, mostly the ‘Great Mother’.

For Costantino Ruth was the novelty of a feminine partner, and not an inspiring ‘muse’, menacing in her ideality, part of those archetypals which got to such emotion the Modernists[8].

It is impressive indeed his individual and artistic path which led him to detachedly describe the woman-mother whom he portrays in 1958  as recognizable, burdened and resistent under the load of a massive traditional vase (‘Mother’s tomb’), to then shade and in many versions into the white stone of ‘Cycladic culture’ – for example : ‘Mother’ of 1981 – similar to a cloud-totem from which a short cane sorts out, even ressembling to his preceeding ‘Idolo’ (1952) where the stone is emptied inside.

In 1946 he met Le Corbusier, with whom and generously he shared the studio for four years – as already he did with Fancello and Pintori at his own studio at Via Garibaldi in Milan, but now notwithstanding the excesses of character  of the brilliant architect : as a matter of fact, thanks to the acquaintance of Le Corbusier, Nivòla decidedly switches to sculpture and to ‘informal art’ which privileged the material and the special manner to treat it. Nivòla begun his special technique he would have called ‘sand casting’, he invented when playing with children on Spring beach at East Hampton and making a first panel in plaster for the Olivetti showroom in New York which paid an international success to him. In the meanwhile he was appointed director of the Design Workshop at the University of Harvard.

It is with the young friend’s family that the nomadic, world famous architect often stayed and happy : we can look at him in the photos of the time, incredibly and maybe for the first time pacified. The bitter frustration of Le Corbusier, not at all gratified in his second stay in New York in 1946 and notwithstanding his excellent references, during his participation to the international team of architects to which the project of the United Nations building was committed, led him to devote himself to drawing he considered his own orientation talent, and to painting he was facing after meeting the work and the appreciation of an already famous Picasso[9].

Described by those who observed him during the long work sessions by the Headquarter of the Commission in New York as a silent and solitary voyager, however his buildings on sand remain, in less official photos of those years, he made together with Costantino and children, or the pique-niques on the grass of Nivòla’ house garden with Ruth and the little Claire in her arms.

The long conversations between Costantino and Le Corbusier, so different men but both of them intelligent precursors, became a mutual learning, so tracing in their life some deep and fruitful guidances : for the architect it was impossible to develop ideas without an audience, and questions and observations received from Nivòla were incisive and lasting for his own art.

In the years between 1946 and 1953 of their partnership and friendship, ‘Le Corbu’ – as he liked nickname himself – published the article ‘L’espace indicible’ and the volume ‘Poème de l’angle droit’[10] where he stated the primate of drawing and painting compared with the architecture, in an ideal continuity which was the real ‘leit motiv’ of his work.

For Nivòla, the mural paintings in his Long Island house (‘Long Island mural’, 1950) were an artistic indispensable reference as well as a sure sign of friendship from an older architect : because at last it was the painting indeed which could destroy ‘the barrier’ of a wall, so making it ‘ineffable’ and ‘unspeakable’ of the reality which should guide one’s own life.

That was a real ‘beginning’ for Le Corbusier, notwithstanding his advanced age : for the first time his work now became discursive, soft, convincing instead of shouting, majestic, generalized as in the first, frenetic explosive decades of his activity : and it is of these years (1950-1955) the project for the delightful Notre-Dame du Haut at Ronchamp, destination of religious pilgrimages in the French countryside.

And even more stands out the very nice ‘Le Cabanon’ (1950 – 1952) at Roquebrune-Cap Martin, which Le Corbusier described as “my own castle of three meters for four…” and set in Cote d’Azur, dotted with haughty villas : it is only fifteen years before the majestic ‘Le Corbusier-Gallis’, a villa he projected for himself and his beloved Yvonne - who however didn’t feel at her ease - in which the famous ‘ribbon’ windows and the overhead doors of the innovative ‘machine à habiter’ try to dissolve a rough distance between man and Nature.

For Costantino Nivòla, the lesson learned by Le Corbusier who was still trying, even if with weary stubbornness, to cling to a de-imputative ‘continuum’ of real on reality, led him to conjugate the novelty of his art whereas it was appreciated : so in 1957 he made the excellent decoration for the Mutual Hartford Insurance Company of Hartford, in Connecticut; in 1965 he carried out at Nuoro the arrangement of the square dedicated to to the poet Sebastiano Satta; in 1967 he made sculptures for the Public School 320 of Brooklyn, for the White Plains Plaza, for the Children’s Psychiatric Hospital in Bronx at New York and for many U.S.A. cities; in 1978 he begun teaching at the Berkeley University in California, where he also had a personal exhibition.

The parable of Nivòla’s life can be considered a Case of competence in the care of one’s thinking, when you get to judge about a ‘ceasing damage’ and drop your pathological diseconomics[11] and as well avert narcissism and melencholy : however the capability to identify one’s own benefit partner, dropping the Ideal, remains a rare and only human achievement, that is logical and economical at the same time.


               Marina Bilotta Membretti / Cernusco sul Naviglio, the Monday after Easter -Aprile 13, 2020.


P.S. Thanks are due for the materials offered : ‘Fondazione Nivola’ established at Orani in 1990 on the joint initiative of Regione Sardegna, Municipality of Orani and of the artist’s family with the aim of promoting awareness of Costantino Nivòla and other contemporary artists’ works/ www.museonivola.it and ‘Biblioteca Comunale’ of Biassono-MB, Italy.




[1] “Born In The USA” (1984), is a rock song by the U.S.A. author and singer Bruce Springsteen.

[2]  Cited from : “Un uomo che ha domani”, ‘Opera Omnia di Giacomo B. Contri’ 2015, Sezione ‘Saggi, testi pro-manuscripto’ pag. 12

[3] “Alla periferia del Paradiso. Il ‘Disegno ininterrotto’ da Salvatore Fancello a Costantino Nivola”, by Roberto Cassanelli – Jaca Book Wide 2003. I thank  the ‘Biblioteca comunale’ of Biassono-MB, Italy for this precious volume.

[4] Cited from : “Fancello 1942”, by M. Labò : it is a certificate of the ‘Scuola di Avviamento professionale’ in Dorgali.

[5] Cited from : “Alla periferia del Paradiso. Il ‘Disegno ininterrotto’ da Salvatore Fancello a Costantino Nivola”, by Roberto Cassanelli – Jaca Book Wide 2003/ Lettera al cognato Simeone Lai, 1935.

[6] In 1988, when Costantino died, Ruth Nivola gave ‘Disegno ininterrotto’ to the Municipality of Dorgali , where now can be admired at the ‘Civica Sala Fancello’.

[7] Carl Gustav Jung moved away from Sigmund Freud’s work, after the 1909 travel to the United States, made together with Freud himself and the Colleagues psychoanalists Abraham Brill, Ernest Jones, Sàndor Ferenczi on invitation of the ‘Clark University’ for a cycle of conferences.

[8] Not so easy to define, the ‘Modernism’ emerged, as a cultural stream and movement, between the end of XIX and the beginning of the XX century, together with the urbanization process which made obsolete many canons of the bourgeois society of the beginning of XIX century : it proposed  itself also as revolutionary compared to the first capitalism and, in a sense, simplifier of its istances. It had to deal with the devastations of the two World Wars.

[9] Pablo Picasso in 1949 visited at Marsille the ‘Unitè d’Habitation’, public housing projected by Le Corbusier with the characteristics of that architectural Modernisme he named ‘machine à habiter’.

[10] “L’espace indicible”, 1946 in “L’architecture d’aujourd’hui”, November – December special issue, cited in ”Le Corbusier. Lessons in Modernism”, Catalog of the exhibition held at Orani (Nuoro, Sardinia) 2018 December – 2019 March  and at care of Giuliana Altea, Antonella Camarda, Richard Ingersoll, Marida Talamona.


[11] In “Un uomo che ha domani”, ‘Opera Omnia di Giacomo B.Contri’ 2015 – Sezione ‘Saggi, testi pro-manuscripto’ the author and psychoanalist Giacomo B. Contri takes up the figures of pathological diseconomics : ‘emerging damage’, ‘ceasing benefit’ to which he adds a third figure, ‘non emerging benefit’ (pg.19).

“Leonardo prisoner of flight”[1].

This dress, designed and made by Alice Gariboldi, is inspired by Leonardo flight studies, who today is very much appreciated by youngest people for his wide interests and his own capacity of technical achievements that still remain forerunners. But the intuition of this Project is also in having been able to grasp the anguish of Leonardo himself towards an inhuman perfection, which however he persisted in pursuing in an even growing independence in his relationships.

Curator of the exhibition is Dr. Simona Gallo, ‘Area Giuridico Pedagogica’s authority of ‘Ministero di Grazia e Giustizia’ at ‘Milano Bollate, II Casa di Reclusione – Area III F1’, who could get and promote the wish, born among a few young prisoners, for a specific Project.



One can marvel nowadays at the entrepreneurial ability, when we are weakened by short-sighted chronicles rebound striking our pages at unsustainable speeds.

As a matter of facts we are surprised indeed by this Project which took off in prison, the ‘II Casa di Reclusione’ of ‘Milano Bollate’, where a few young prisoners could think of, propose, plan and make – also capable to collect consent and collaboration, the ‘Teatro della Moda’[2], Milan municipality, ‘Palazzo Morando’[3], the textile industry Ratti Spa[4] generosity other than a number of established stylists’ – 30 evening dresses inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci’ main and most known inventions, as he lived in Milan in the most fruitful years of his own life, whose Milan commemorated in 2019 the 500° anniversary from his death.

With today’s issue a series of short presentations starts of those dresses exposed at Palazzo Morando from December 11, 2019 to January 5, 2020 and for which a public auction sale has been prepared, whose proceeds will go to the benefit of V.I.D.A.S.[5] for free assistance to children with incurable diseases : at the end of these introductions, a more detailed report will be published, thanks to the availability of whom, despite serving a prison sentence, could think of, propose and take care of the Project until its realization.

Opens my review the very dress inspired by the longest, deep studies by Leonardo Da Vinci about the technique of birds flight : as a matter of facts he liked to deepen what he soon became convinced of, that is that the flight is a mechanical phenomenon due to a wing stroke in the air, nothing of mysterious and then that also men could fly, getting wings.


Author of the dress is Alice Gariboldi, student at the ‘Il Teatro della Moda’, and this is how she described her creation for the exhibition.


“…Leonardo reserves an extensive and detailed research to the study of the wing, which evolves over the years. After a number of researches, he seems to lean towards a wing type ‘with doors’ like that of a bat, which is divided into three zones and for which he foresees the use of different naterials… One of the last machines designed by the artist adopts a wing type completely different, with a skeleton similar to that of a hand…

Composed by three pieces (the dress I created – editor’s note) would like to remember the paper on which the notes were written, and also the most used materials by Leonardo, such as wood, the starched linen and cotton.

The colours used are the ones which remember the paper, starting with yellow up to the off-white, made using natural dyes, such the black tea and curcuma.

The high-waisted pants end at mid-calf, have pockets on the knees and on the sides.

The bodice, inspired by a skecth of a painting by Leonardo Da Vinci that portrays Isabella d’Este includes a special closure composed of laces so that it can support the wings on which the notes on flight will be reproduced.

The wings, composed of a wooden structure, have the particularity of being able to open and close…”



                                                                        Marina Bilotta Membretti / Cernusco sul Naviglio - February 1, 2020



[1] “Leonardo prigioniero del volo” is the collective Fashion exhibition just ended in Milan, in which stylists, designers, model makers and painters participated in the creation of thirty original evening dresses inspired by the Leonardo Da Vinci inventions.

[2] “Teatro della Moda – Italian Fashion Institute & Lab”, Advanced tailoring School based in Milan, immediately offered a generous collaboration  to the project, with also a specific training into the prison of Milano Bollate.

[3] “Raccolte storiche Palazzo Morando – Costume, moda, immagine”,  is in Milan, Via Sant’Andrea n°6.

[4] Ratti Spa, a prestigious Italian textile industry based at Guanzate (Como), provided the fabrics and materials for all the dresses produced by the young prisoners of ‘Milano Bollate’.

[5] V.I.D.A.S.is an Association of already 37 years of activity, operating in Milan, Monza and 112 Municipalities in the two Cities and offering free and continuous assistance to incurable patients : the proceeds of the auction sale of the evening dresses made for the exhibition will be donated to the charity of the ‘Casa Sollievo Bimbi’ at V.I.D.A.S., first children’s hospice in Lombardia, opened in May 2019.

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