Gucci presents Imitatio Vitae, a book by Marina Cicogna, which showcases a series of images from the historic Palazzo Ducale
August 2, 2019: Alessandro Michele and film producer, screenwriter and photographer Marina Cicogna together present IMITATIO VITAE, an editorial project, dedicated to the ancient Venetian capitals of the Palazzo Ducale (the Doge’s Palace).
Giving us various glimpses of everyday life in the fourteenth century, from life in the fields to marital relations and family groups, cosmology and astrological houses, the capitals of Palazzo Ducale take us back in time. Sculpted by unknown but extraordinary masters, forever exciting, enabling us to touch a distant past, they are deemed a “course of divinity and of natural history” by English art critic John Ruskin.
These masterpieces of Italian Gothic graced the Palace until the end of the 19th century before being removed to protect them from the ravages of time. Photographs by Ms. Cicogna as well as those drawn from the CameraphotoArte archive tell us about these works of art, one by one, like the frames of a film sequence. These are collected in a volume which is a result of Mr. Michele’s passion for antiquity, Marina’s “discovery” of works of art of unexpected originality and beauty, produced by Gucci, in collaboration with Venetian publisher Marsilio.
This is a Venice which has been captured over the centuries in the writings of famous poets, writers and critics; an extraordinary Venice. Film director Pier Luigi Pizzi rediscovered them after more than a century and showed them to Ms. Cicogna, who made them the inspiration behind this book project.
The book contains a collection of images, commentary, contributing short texts, thoughts, reactions, and reflections by prominent international figures from the world of cinema, culture, art and contemporary society. “In the 14th century, only a privileged few could read or write. Forget photography, cinema,” Ms. Cicogna observes in her introduction, “and let’s reflect on the fact that these artisans could describe animals, warriors, ladies, zodiac signs, men from other cultures and religions, as well as baskets filled with flowers, fruits, vegetables just by carving them into stone. Who wouldn’t be enchanted?”.
The volume, which will be available in Italy from mid-September 2019 and abroad from February 2020, examines and reveals the inextricable relationship between art and life.