29 August 2022
“The Garden of Ideas”: a literary journey amid nature and art in the Borromeo archive
September marks the launch of the initiative promoted by Terre Borromeo, “The Garden of Ideas”, on Lago Maggiore: this is a cycle of three literary appointments that are open to the public to discover the exciting history of the Islands through the centuries, also thanks to studies on the Borromeo archive.
The first two encounters, scheduled for 9 and 16 September, will take place in the new greenhouse of the Delfino, the recently restored 18th-century building in the middle of Isola Bella.
The last one, on 23 September, will be held in the cafeteria on Isola Madre.
In an exciting interaction with authors, art historians, researchers and curators who all have a profound knowledge of the archive in common, historical periods will be reviewed through which the precious heritage that can still be admired today in all its artistic and historical splendour has been carefully conserved by the Borromeo family.
The encounter in the calendar for 9 September at 11am is devoted to the topic “Nature and Art Protagonists on Isola Bella”, with art historian Alessandro Morandotti, lecturer at the University of Turin, and archivist Sergio Monferrini. The authors will tell of how on Isola Bella, created by the imagination and genius of Vitaliano VI Borromeo, floral still lifes, landscapes and architectural perspectives characterise the Baroque artistic experiences in a constant dialogue with the panorama of Lago Maggiore, views and glimpses of the gardens and the palazzo, contributing to the charm and success of what has been defined as a “miracle of art and nature” ever since the 17th century.
On 16 September, again on Isola Bella, it will be the turn of art historians Marco Carminati and Stefano Zuffi. The authors of the volume “Palazzo Borromeo. Uno scrigno barocco sull’Isola Bella” [Palazzo Borromeo. A Baroque Treasure Chest on Isola Bella] will explore this unique location and its story up to the present day with the public. The spectacular Palazzo Borromeo on Isola Bella has remained intact: a kind of Versailles emerging from the waters of Lago Maggiore. It is hard to remain indifferent to the fascination of a location that has seen generations of Borromeo counts and princes, who have been generous hosts to kings, queens, people of letters, artists, travellers, and even of rather “awkward” figures such as Napoleon Bonaparte and Benito Mussolini.
Finally, on 23 September, on Isola Madre the historian of architecture Adele Buratti Mazzotta with Marco Carminati will guide us in the discovery of what links Isola Madre to the Isolino di San Giovanni, following meticulous research and study work on ancient documents and drawings conducted on the occasion of the recent publication of the book “L’Isolino di San Giovanni già di Sant’Angelo. 500 anni di storia” [The Isolino di San Giovanni, formerly Di Sant’Angelo. 500 Years of History] (A. Buratti Mazzotta).