Castor or Pollux
Mid-2nd century c.e.
Probably Italy, marble.
"This youth is either Castor or Pollux. These two brothers were the offspring of a mortal woman. They had different fathers: Castor was the son of a mortal prince while Pollux was the son of the king of the gods, Jupiter. Thus Castor was mortal and Pollux, immortal. At the death of Castor, Jupiter offered the immortal Pollux a choice. He could remain immortal or he could divide immortality with his slain brother. They could live on alternate days in heaven and the Underworld. Out of love for his brother, Pollux chose to divide his immortality. The youths were associated with the constellation Gemini and thus they are portrayed with a star on their caps. Our figure cradles in his left arm a sheath.
The statue may be an approximate copy of a famous fifth-century B.C.E. sculpture that stood at the entrance of the Acropolis in Athens."
Drug Jar (albarello)
Italy, probably Pesaro
Earthenware, tin glazed (maiolica)
Pharmacies were great patrons of maiolica potteries from the early fifteenth century onward. Usually housed in monastic hospitals or royal residences, pharmacies often commissioned large sets of matching jars which were displayed in rows on shelves around the walls. Each jar was marked with the name of the drug it contained. Spouted jars were used to store and dispense liquid medicine. Early examples were closed by tying parchment over the top.
Gelatin silver print
"In Joann Verburg's lyrical, large-format photographs, figures seem to be suspended in reverie. After Giotto, a work inspired by the Renaissance painter, echoes the formal elegance of its precedent. The graceful gestures of the male and female figures, separated in Verburg's diptych, connect visually to one another. The young woman's facial expression, curious yet apprehensive, suggests a moment of emotional pause, either just after or prior to an unknown event.
In 1984, Verburg and her husband, the poet Jim Moore, visited the Italian town of Spoleto. In Italy, Verburg was able to further explore her interest in paintings by Giotto. A work in the swimmers series, After Giotto (1983), makes formal references to a fresco in the Basilica di San Francesco in Assisi that depicts Isaac rejecting Esau. The facial expression, hand gesture, and apprehensive demeanor of the subject in Verburg's diptych resembles that of the woman in Giotto's work."
View of Lake Garda
Oil on canvas
"Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot was one of the leading French landscape painters of the 1800s. During repeated trips to Italy between the 1820s and 1840s, he dedicated himself to painting and sketching from nature. Later in life, when he preferred to work in his Parisian studio, Corot relied on these sketches for inspiration or painted landscapes from memory. In this painting, a boatman and a contadina (Italian peasant woman) lounge on the banks of Lake Garda, a site that Corot had visited three decades earlier."
Venice, the Grand Canal with the Doge’s Palace, 1889
Oil on canvas
In the late 19th century, Venice was heralded as a refuge from modernity, and Thomas Moran's paintings of the legendary Italian city reinforced this perception. Moran's Venice, the Grand Canal with the Doge's Palace shows famous buildings along the Grand Canal bathed in a romantic, atmospheric glow. Fanciful boats, gondolas and figures dressed in historical costumes contribute exotic details. Moran, who first visited Venice in 1886, created this and related scenes from memory with the aid of studies.
Moran followed a long line of artists who painted Venice, including English painter J. M. W. Turner, whose feathery brushwork and poetic treatment of light exerted great influence on the American.
Pergusa Three Double (1984)
linocut, woodcut, engravomg. screen print, edition 14 of 30
"Frank Stella was twenty-three when his Black Paintings were displayed in exhibition 16 Americans at the Museum of Modern Art in New York alongside work by Louise Nevelson and their contemporaries: Frank Stella, Jasper Johns, and Robert Rauschenberg. These acclaimed works were created when Stella applied commercial black enamel paint with a house painter's brush to create a geometric pattern of thin, unpainted lines. By the mid -- 1980's, however, Stella was working in a more exuberant--and colorful--mode. Pergusa Three Double (1984), for example, is much less contained to geometric lines and forms than his earlier works; it is named for a race track in Italy and depicts an aerial view of this subject."