Postcard from Naples, Italy: Snippets shot in final four museums

Detail of “The Devil and the Holy Water,” Salvatore Postiglione, 1887, Gallerie d’Italia – Palazzo Zevallos Stigliano

Inartistically and illogically clumping works from four museums in this one post – 15th-century religious paintings, a Joan Miro retrospective, a house museum, contemporary art. The museums are getting short shrift in treatment because they are the final ones the blog will visit in Naples before moving across the boot of Italy. The grouping does offer a glimpse of how diverse and rich the art offerings found in Naples are.

As is oft the case, our camera lens seems to often focus on the devils lurking in religious art, but what dark thoughts were in the mind of Neapolitan painter Salvatore Postiglione when he conceived of “The Devil and the Holy Water” are unclear to me.

I never had thought of holy water as dangerous before. But, indeed in hindsight, it should have been obvious that the Coronavirus devil was lurking in fonts at the front of Catholic churches everywhere. Catholics always pause to dip their fingers in the communal pool of water and immediately raise them up to touch their face to make a gesture symbolizing the Holy Trinity and baptism.

March brought the draining of the fonts, but how many viral contaminants were shared by the faithful by then? So very, very sad to think of those who might have been harmed by turning to their religious rituals for reassuring comfort….

Postcard from Malaga, Spain: Joining the flock grazing through art at the Pompidou

Homage to Amnesty International

“Flock of Sheep,” Francois-Xavier Lalanne, 1965/1979, and “Model to the Third International,” a reconstruction of Vladimir Tatlin’s 1919-1920 monument made by Les Ateliers Longepe (Chatillon) in 1979 

The remodeled port area in Malaga is pristine. Probably particularly appealing to the crowds regurgitated from cruise ships who feel comforted by the familiar upscale chains that populate the waterfront mall.

Until 2015.

The City Council of Malaga took an incredibly bold step to enter into a contract with the Pompidou Center in Paris to open its first branch outside of France – Centre Pompidou Malaga. I have no idea whether the investment is paying off, but it’s a beautiful facility that mounts major exhibitions further enhancing Malaga’s strong reputation as a city of internationally important museums.

Of course, Malaga had a head start. It is the birthplace of Pablo Picasso (1881-1973). And you cannot take many steps through the city without bumping into a reminder of the fact.

The museum is reputed to often attract crowds packed like sardines in a tin (apologies to Frank Scurti’s sardine-tin bed above). But we totally lucked out on our timing. Could relax and graze slowly gazing at the art (apologies also to Francois-Xavier Lalanne’s “Flock of Sheep,” evidently possessing good taste).

Truly felt like visiting a miniature Parisian Pompidou. Except luxuriously private and intimate.