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Michelangelo at le Alpi Apuane



Michelangelo at le Alpi Apuane

A talk by Margherita Calderoni, with Massimo Ruffili and Nicolas Bertoux

500 years ago Michelangelo Buonarroti was ordered by Pope Leo X to leave his beloved Carrara and find new quarries in the impervious surroundings of Pietrasanta and Seravezza, to extract marble for the San Lorenzo façade in Florence. Michelangelo was a stubborn man and strenuously opposed the papal decision. The Pope was more stubborn and the point was that the Carrara marbles had a charge, while the Capitanato of Pietrasanta was under Florence influence, so the marbles from that Apuan districts came for free. But at a high price for the Artist who, already a sculptor, a painter, an architect, now had to improvise himself as quarryman and road builder. Begrudging every minute he had to stay in those towns to organize and supervise work and workers, Michelangelo spit sweat and blood to climb, explore, subdue those steep, fierce, impenetrable, pristine sides of the mountain with lazy and incompetent workers and stonecutters. Cursing and swearing, he spent 3 years of hard work declaring “I am the most unhappy man in the world”. Nevertheless Michelangelo carried on: he found splendid “marmo statuario” on Monte Altissimo and built a road to the sea for shipping it to Florence…only to be discharged of his commitment in 1520. Leo X had second thoughts and other priorities than the façade. Michelangelo badly suffered this dismissal: so much time, fatigue, worries, money wasted.
Years later it turned out that it was not fruitless: Granduke Cosimo I guessed the potentiality of that area, built a beautiful Villa in Seravezza, completed the Michelangelo road from Monte Altissimo to Forte dei Marmi and paved the way for the marble industry in Versilia.

500 years on, the four historical towns of Versilia, Pietrasanta-Seravezza-Stazzema-Forte dei Marmi, with the Foundation “TerreMedicee” have planned many celebrative events echoing the presence of Michelangelo in their territory, including this talk at the Institute by Dr Margherita Calderoni, journalist and historian.
Contributions also by Prof Arch Massimo Ruffilli, a Florentine expert on” Michelangelo Architect” who has thoroughly studied the topic of the façade of San Lorenzo Church, being also responsible for the recent projection of the Michelangelo project on the same façade, a suggestive visual experiment to promote the actual making of it with the Apuan marble; and Nicolas Bertoux, a French artist with a soft spot for sculpture who moved in the steps of Michelangelo, now resident in Seravezza where his ARKAD Foundation promotes sculptors from all over the world and the marble quarries of Alta Versilia. Accomplished sculptor himself, he owns a historical marble laboratory next the Medicean Villa of Seravezza and will talk about the contemporary sculptors, sculptures and technologies.

Under the auspices of the Consulate General of Italy in London and under the patronage of the Municipalities of Pietrasanta, Seravezza, Forte dei Marmi, Stazzema.
Supported by Fiorentini nel Mondo Association, MITAL, Antica Fornace Terrecotte Artistiche in Impruneta, and Florencetown Tour Operator, which kindly provides the renowned IGT “Diadema” for the reception that will follow the talk.


Margherita Calderoni
is a journalist, historian, and lecturer. She was born in Florence, Italy, where she graduated in classical studies and gained a PhD in Mathematics. She has worked in Italy, USA, Venezuela, Australia, Borneo, Middle East and, since 1993, in London, UK, where she currently lives. Art, travel, archaeology and features correspondent for Italian and British newspapers and magazines, contributor to RAI, BBC, SBS Australia, organiser of international cultural event and tours, curator of art exhibitions, lecturer and teacher at Italian Institutes of Culture and American Colleges. Member of the British-Italian Society, of the Committee “Amerigo Vespucci a Casa Sua”, of the Toscana-USA Association, of the Italia-Kuwait Association, of the Accademia Italiana Club in London and Head of the Association “Fiorentini nel mondo” in UK.

Nicolas Bertoux.
Born in Paris, France, he began his career as an interiors architect and is now totally dedicated to sculpture. His main direction is to integrate artwork into the environment by relating to a given space, local culture, history and nature. His monumental works can be found public and private places like the European Parliament of Strasbourg and in the Town of Ronchamp in France, or in Taiwan at the Institute of Transportation and in the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts. He lives in Seravezza, where his ARKAD Foundation supports sculptors all over the world and promotes the marble quarries of Alta Versilia.

Massimo Ruffili
lives in Florence, where he is Professor of Industrial Design at the Universita’ di Firenze (University of Florence). He is an expert of “Michelangelo Architect” and has thoroughly studied the Façade of San Lorenzo Church, being also responsible for the recent projection of the Michelangelo design on the same façade, a suggestive visual experiment to promote the actual making of it with the Apuan Marble.


Data: Gio 27 Set 2018

Orario: Alle 19:00

Organizzato da : ICI London

Ingresso : Libero


ICI London