Casa Gargano Blog

Images, words, places and flavors from the Amalfi Coast


Sweet the memory is to me

Of a land beyond the sea,

Where the waves and mountains meet,

Where amid her mulberry-trees

Sits Amalfi in the heat,

Bathing ever her white feet

In the tideless summer seas.

In the middle of the town,

From its fountains in the hills,

Tumbling through the narrow gorge,

The Canneto rushes down,

Turns the great wheels of the mills,

Lifts the hammers of the forge.

'T is a stairway, not a street,

That ascends the deep ravine,

Where the torrent leaps between

Rocky walls that almost meet.

Toiling up from stair to stair

Peasant girls their burdens bear;

Sunburnt daughters of the soil,

Stately figures tall and straight,

What inexorable fate

Dooms them to this life of toil?

Lord of vineyards and of lands,

Far above the convent stands.

On its terraced walk aloof

Leans a monk with folded hands,

Placid, satisfied, serene,

Looking down upon the scene

Over wall and red-tiled roof;

Wondering unto what good end

All this toil and traffic tend,

And why all men cannot be

Free from care and free from pain,

And the sordid love of gain,

And as indolent as he.

Where are now the freighted barks

From the marts of east and west?

Where the knights in iron sarks

Journeying to the Holy Land,

Glove of steel upon the hand,

Cross of crimson on the breast?

Where the pomp of camp and court?

Where the pilgrims with their prayers?

Where the merchants with their wares,

And their gallant brigantines

Sailing safely into port

Chased by corsair Algerines?

Vanished like a fleet of cloud,

Like a passing trumpet-blast,

Are those splendors of the past,

And the commerce and the crowd!

Fathoms deep beneath the seas

Lie the ancient wharves and quays,

Swallowed by the engulfing waves;

Silent streets and vacant halls,

Ruined roofs and towers and walls;

Hidden from all mortal eyes

Deep the sunken city lies:

Even cities have their graves!

This is an enchanted land!

Round the headlands far away

Sweeps the blue Salernian bay

With its sickle of white sand:

Further still and furthermost

On the dim discovered coast

Paestum with its ruins lies,

And its roses all in bloom

Seem to tinge the fatal skies

Of that lonely land of doom.

On his terrace, high in air,

Nothing doth the good monk care

For such worldly themes as these,

From the garden just below

Little puffs of perfume blow,

And a sound is in his ears

Of the murmur of the bees

In the shining chestnut trees;

Nothing else he heeds or hears.

All the landscape seems to swoon

In the happy afternoon;

Slowly o'er his senses creep

The encroaching waves of sleep,

And he sinks as sank the town,

Unresisting, fathoms down,

Into caverns cool and deep!

Walled about with drifts of snow,

Hearing the fierce north-wind blow,

Seeing all the landscape white,

And the river cased in ice,

Comes this memory of delight,

Comes this vision unto me

Of a long-lost Paradise

In the land beyond the sea.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. 1876-79. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes 

Albert Flamm, The islands of 'li Galli', Positano

Albert Flamm Colonia 1823 - Dusseldorf 1906 The islands of 'li Galli', at Positano, from mount Comune.

Esposto alla Mostra The South as viewed from the North. 19th century Central European painters glance at Southern Italy, 28 giugno - 5 luglio 2013


 Maurits Cornelis Escher, Atrani, Amalfi Coast, 1931

"Nella primavera del 1922 Escher visitò l'Italia in compagnia di alcuni suoi amici. Rimasto stregato dalla bellezza di quel paese, il grafico vi ritornò nell'autunno dello stesso anno, imbarcandosi su una nave da carico diretta a Cadice e, poi, a Genova. [...] Mosso da una crescente irrequietudine, Escher nella primavera del 1923 si trasferì presso la costiera amalfitana, in Sud Italia, spronato dai suggestivi racconti di un'anziana signora danese che pure risiedeva presso la pensione Alessandri. Escher rimase letteralmente folgorato dalla suadente plasticità della luce del Mezzogiorno e, soprattutto, dalla commistione di elementi romani, greci e saraceni presente nelle architetture di Ravello, Atrani e Amalfi, tutte città campane che lasciarono un'impronta profonda nella sua fantasia: un'orografia così mossa e animata, così «teatrale» come quella amalfitana, d'altronde, non avrebbe potuto sortire diverso effetto su un olandese assuefatto a orizzonti lineari e modesti. Quello amalfitano fu per Escher un soggiorno proficuo non solo dal punto di vista artistico, ma anche sotto il profilo amoroso: il 31 marzo 1923, infatti, il pittore incontrò all'Hotel Toro di Ravello Jetta Umiker, il futuro amore dell sua vita. Era costei la figlia di un facoltoso banchiere svizzero che, dopo aver consolidato la sua fama dirigendo un'importante filiale di Mosca, fu costretto a fuggire dalla Russia in seguito alla tumultuosa rivoluzione del 1917. La Umiker, per di più, si interessava di pittura e di disegno: com'è ovvio immaginare la scintilla amorosa non tardò a scoccare e pertanto i due si sposarono il 12 giugno 1924 a Viareggio." 

Fonte:        Immagine: wikimedia creative common

"Herr Geheimer Rath von Klenze is known not only as one of the first of living architects-famous, but even as a practical artist in the field of painting so excellent that one can only regret to see him by the main office of this his favorite art so much deducted." (Julius Max Schottky, 1833, quoted in Love/Hufnagl, s. u., p. 52). Leo von Klenze "most important duties" were done in his profession as the preferred architect of the Bavarian king Ludwig I to. After his accession to the throne in 1825, Klenze had, through his position of Trust to the king, and through his position at the head of the construction administration for a decade full impact on the construction industry in Munich and Bavaria. By him for the king designed the building for the city of Munich is characterised until today: for example, the Königsbau of the residence, the system of the Ludwigstraße and the königsplatz, the Alte Pinakothek. As a painter Leo von Klenze was self-taught. In the case of Carl Wilhelm von Heideck, and later with Carl Rottmann he learned the technique of Oil painting. His profession as an architect is reflected in his paintings clearly again: The interest in buildings, in carefully composed landscapes embedded, tightly shaped the city and the views of the Buildings betrayed. Until recently, the merits of Klenzes are highlighted in the architecture literature, his work was first compiled in 1964 by Oswald Hederer, 1979 by Norbert Lieb and Florian Hufnagl edited raisonné of the paintings and drawings appeared. The Oeuvre Klenzes as a painter is limited to 79 positions. His panel paintings, the artist created mainly for affiliates and familiar personalities, many of them are still in private ownership. Not a few of his paintings remained until well into the 20th century. Century in the possession of the own family, so also the present view of Atrani. Already in 1817, Leo von Klenze had begun a private collection of paintings to create. The main part of the same was acquired in 1841/42 by king Ludwig I, the Neue Pinakothek. Klenzes attention to main as a collector was the works of his contemporaries: One of the first paintings he acquired, was a descendant of Joseph rebel, whose "port was the view of Portici la Gran Abella" in 1818 at him. Rebel had, incidentally, made in the same year, a view of Atrani. 1819 Joseph Mallord William Turner dealt with the representation of Atrani - a popular photo motif for the Italy traveller artists of the first half of the 19th century. Century. Leo von Klenze preparatory drawing for the paintings dated from the 12. May 1830 and is in the holdings of the Staatliche Graphische Sammlung in Munich. From April to June 1830, travelled to Leo von Klenze, together with the sculptor Christian Daniel Rauch, Italy. In Rome they met Bertel Thorvaldsen, then they travelled on to Naples, Pompeii, Paestum and Amalfi. While the topographic Situation on this site resulting drawing is accurately represented, decides Klenze in the execution of the painting four years later, for a Variation, especially with regard to the landscape foreground and gives the paintings additional "picturesque" weight. Literature: report on the inventory and the Work of the art Association in Munich, for the year 1834. Munich, 1835, P. 40, No. 118. - Feuchtmayr, Inge (Red.), Leo von Klenze as a painter and draughtsman. Exhibition catalogue of the Bavarian Academy of Fine arts, Munich, 21. October 1977 - 29. In January, 1978. Munich, 1977, p. 89, catalogue no G 41: the present painting with the above-mentioned signature. - Lieb, Norbert / Hufnagl, Florian, Leo von Klenze paintings and drawings. München 1979, p. 98, catalogue raisonné no. 34 (the painting) and p. 174, catalogue raisonné no. 138 (the drawing). - Ricciardi, Massimo, La costa d'amalfi nella pittura dell'ottocento. Salerno, 1998, p. 72 figure 88. Provenance: Hippolyt von Klenze (1814-1888), son of the artist. - Irene Atheneis von Klenze, verh. Countess Courten (1850-1916). - Family-owned Courten until 1960. - 1960 donation of the painting to the Bavarian state painting collections (Inv.No. 13077). - 1968 return of the painting at the request of the giver. - Private Possession, Switzerland. - South German Private Collection. Exhibition: Kunstverein, Munich, 1834

Source: © Very Important Lot


Entirely set in Amalfi, this novel was initially published in 13 episodes between April and June 1895 in the London weekly The Illustrated London News. This book contains 24 drawings by the Anglo-French artist Amédée Forestier, one of the most popular illustrators of his time

Le terrazze rappresentano l'insieme perfetto di natura e arte umana. Create attraverso il lavoro faticoso di generazioni, esse servono anche alla stabilizzazione del terreno che è minacciato in continuazione da frane e smottamenti. [...] Una peculiarità dell'agricoltura locale è rappresentata dagli agrumeti, che fino a fine aprile sono coperti con...



Image source: Wikimedia Creative Commons

"Ma quei d'Amalfi, cui la lunga spada era misura, a patria più lontana andavano; che già, s'avean contrada e forno e bagno e fondaco e fontana per tutto, e Mauro Còmite dal Greco mattava il Doge al libro di dogana." Gabriele D'Annunzio, "La canzone del Sacramento", 1912

Pietro Scoppetta (Amalfi, 1863 - Naples, 1920) was an Italian painter, painting in an Impressionist style using both oil and pastels. He moved in 1891 to Naples to study painting at the Istituto of Fine Arts under cavaliere Giacomo di Chirico, then moved to Paris (1897-1903), London, and Rome for a number of years. In Naples, he frequented the...

Michel e sua moglie Marceline arrivano sulla Costa d'Amalfi durante il loro viaggio nel Mediterraneo in cerca di climi che possano giovare alla salute di lui, malato di tubercolosi.

Ravello is one of the many gems of the Amalfi Coast. At 350 meters above sea level, in its splendid villas, Ravello has been attracting for centuries writers, artists, musicians. Strange to say for a town which is 5 km from the sea, Ravello also has one of the most beautiful beaches of the Amalfi Coast. It is the beach...

Carlo Brancaccio, Atrani, 1898 

From: In and around Amalfi. Walking tours towards the best of a World Heritage Site", by Olimpia Gargano 

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