Since 1908 the n.1 source of all things Italian featuring Italian news, culture, business and travel

Issue link: https://italoamericanodigital.uberflip.com/i/1513262

Contents of this Issue


Page 1 of 43

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2023 www.italoamericano.org L'Italo-Americano 2 W h y s h o u l d we discuss P e r u g i n o 5 0 0 y e a r s a f t e r h i s death? And why choose The Baptism of Christ for discus- s i o n , p a r t i c u l a r l y a r o u n d Christmas time? Anniversaries and commem- orations serve to refocus our attention on reflective themes, o f t e n o v e r s h a d o w e d b y t h e daily happenings around us. They act like a gravitational center in our lives, reorienting us while we're distracted elsewhere (much like the holiday season, a time for introspection and setting new priorities). In this light, recognizing the modernity of an early 16th-century art- work is quite remarkable. When we stand before such art, admiring it and deciphering the multitude of meanings conveyed through a harmony of col- ors, a symmetry of images, or the pictorial representation of symbolic meanings, we're witnessing a seminal moment. The aesthetic canon established by Perugino in particular, and the Renaissance through its myriad interpreters, is not just a mile- stone in art history but also in our collective taste. Renaissance lessons triumphing over artificial intelligence From the Editor Discovering that the artwork remains incredibly beautiful, rich in technical lessons and expressive potential, even to our technologically advanced and virtual-reality-accustomed eyes, underscores the immense, enduring value of our past in shap- ing contemporary culture. Studying these masterpieces and periodically rediscovering their creators and their works should be seen as an opportuni- ty to reflect on the immense journey made over centuries. True, today we might view certain representations as outdat- ed, especially when compared to the metaverse, the anima- tions, and the virtual worlds we are capable of creating. Yet, it is perhaps our arrival at these heights of expressiveness that should enlighten us: on one hand, today's progress would not have been feasible without the foundation laid by our prede- cessors, and on the other, as fascinating and potent as it is, artificial intelligence still faces significant limitations. One primary example: creativity is a sentiment, a product of emotions that no machine can generate. Regardless of how sophisticated the algorithms behind the machines producing sounds, images, texts, or parallel worlds may be, it is we, the people, who imbue their results - however astonishing - with meaning. An auto-generated text, a fabricated photo, an art- work created by a machine may indeed be stunning, but they are always the output of a machine that has been programmed and trained to perform a task. In essence, it's about execution versus creation, technique versus talent. The essence of true innovation is in that initial spark ignit- ing the path to change, reminiscent of Perugino's impact. "We hope to acknowledge," stated Veruska Picchiarelli, curator of the Milanese exhibition on the Renaissance artist, "that Perug- ino laid the groundwork for the classicist trend in painting. While Raphael is a key figure, it was Perugino who established the fundamental guidelines." Thus, Perugino shouldn't be con- fined to the role of an artist merely sandwiched between the eminent figures before and after him, who eclipsed his fame and worth. Though perhaps less celebrated, Perugino was piv- otal, especially as a trailblazer: he sparked and fueled the engine that others would later propel forward. Picchiarelli fur- ther notes, "He honed a vision that became a national canon, a feat not achieved since Giotto's time." In a similar vein, reflecting on the Baptism of Christ as Christmas approaches holds symbolic significance. It redirects us to the core issues. Regardless of religious beliefs, we inevitably engage in contemplation about life and the meaning of our personal journeys. In Perugino's canvas, water bathes both the feet and head, encompassing humanity in a cycle of generation and regeneration. Water is essential for life, nour- ishing the body and cleansing the mind, a concept echoed across diverse cultures and faiths. For example, the immersion ritual validates messages that are more universal than they initially appear. And considering the critical role of water for the survival of all species on Earth, this topic is especially rele- vant today, highlighting an indispensable resource in our cur- rent historical context. Thus, does humanity still hold a central place in the world? Almost inadvertently, from a modern discourse, we find our- selves back at the starting point, revisiting the foundational ideals of Humanism that, half a millennium ago, marked the end of the Middle Ages and initiated the Renaissance of the arts. As we circle back to the spirit of Christmas, let me warmly extend to all of you, esteemed readers of L'Italo Americano, heartfelt wishes for a serene and joyful holiday season. Simone Schiavinato, Editor Simone Schiavinato NEWS & FEATURES TOP STORIES PEOPLE EVENTS Member of FUSIE (Federazione Unitaria Stampa Italianaall'Estero), COGITO L'Italo-Americano Please send correspondence to P.O. BOX 6528, ALTADENA, CA 91003 www.italoamericano.org L'Italo-Americano Newspaper (a 501(c)(3) non- profit organization), www.italoamericano.org, is the largest and longest-running Italian news- paper in America, not to mention the cultural and news resource for all things Italian in the US. A bilingual newspaper which represents an historical landmark for the Italian American Communities in the West Coast and throughout the US. L'Italo-Americano benefits from subsidies by the Italian Government, Memberships and Donations intended to support and not interrupt a mission that began in 1908 to preserve and promote the Italian language and culture in the USA Periodicals postage paid at Monrovia, California 91016, and additional mailing offices. PUBLISHER Robert Barbera Grande Ufficiale EDITOR IN CHIEF Simone Schiavinato ADMINISTRATIVE MANAGER Patrick Abbate EDITORIAL COORDINATOR Barbara Minafra COPY EDITOR Francesca Bezzone LOS ANGELES CONTRIBUTOR Silvia Nittoli SAN FRANCISCO CONTRIBUTOR Serena Perfetto SEATTLE CONTRIBUTOR Rita Cipalla CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Mariella Radaelli, Matt Walker, Francesca Bezzone, Luca Ferrari, Stefano Carnevali, Paula Reynolds, Teresa Di Fresco Nicoletta Curradi, Generoso D'Agnese, Jessica S. Levy, Fabrizio Del Bimbo, Maria Gloria, Chuck Pecoraro, Anthony Di Renzo Serena Perfetto, Kenneth Scambray, Chiara D'Alessio, Luca Signorini, Giulia Franceschini © 2020 L'Italo-Americano Membership: One year $59 - Single copy $2.25 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to L'Italo Americano PO Box 6528 Altadena, CA 91003 Happy 102nd Birthday to one of our most cherished readers, Lina Rossetto! As December brings its festive spirit, we at L'Italo- Americano would like to join your daughter Bertilla and all your family in celebrating such a remarkable mile- stone! Your journey with us since 1951, when you first arrived in California, has been an important part of our community's story. Here's to a wonderful birthday filled with joy and cherished moments. May this year bring you continued health and happi- ness. Buon compleanno, Lina!

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of L'Italo-Americano - italoamericano-digital-12-14-2023