December 18, 2011
SUNDAY FROM MY DESK
I have spent almost the whole week at 10 Corso Como sharing in all the Christmas excitement wrapping all the boxes, tying all the bows, packing all the presents.
The store and bookshop, garden and restaurant humming with activity.
An invitation to spoil ourselves and our loved ones…
As a Christmas tradition I visit the churches where my father would take me to show the link between our rich history and art. This is the church of Santa Maria at
San Satiro, who was San Ambrogio’s brother. Commissioned by the Duke of Milano, it was designed by Bramante who went on to design St. Peter’s in Rome in the renaissance style. But what was interesting to me was the Sacellum, the interior of the church which is much older. Before being consecrated to Santa Maria it had been consecrated to the ancient gods of the Romans for sacrificial purposes.
The most beautiful and unexpected present I have received this year is this BERKEL prosciutto slicer! The company stopped in making them in 1960 and they are quite rare. It was truly a surprise as I rarely eat at home and do not know how to cook but as an object of beauty and utility it is its own work of art. It uses no electricity but is cranked by hand so it is nice and quiet and delicate slices result. So from today I have placed it in the middle of the 10 Corso Como Café to enjoy a slice of
San Daniele prosciutto on a thin carasau bread from Sardinia (carta da musica) and see this legendary beauty in action.
Santa Claus starts arriving here 13 days before Christmas Eve. This week I received my favorite Christmas card. Each year Manolo Blahnik sends a card that is a gift of love and long friendship that I have saved since the first one. It makes me think of Warhol and that he might have loved Santa Claus too. Here is Warhol’s shoe saying Merry Christmas.
Since September when it opened I wanted to see the exhibition of Fra Angelico and
“the painters of light”. These Masters of the Florentine Quattrocento are
at the Musée Jacquemart-André on Blvd Haussmann. The museum and its collections are an amazing small jewel of the 19th century in Paris. Fra Angelico was called also Beato, the blessed one. He painted angels and Madonnas of rare beauty and serenity. Lovely to see at this season.
One quick trip to Paris to see two very different exhibitions I knew would be closing down soon. The German artist Georg Baselitz, known for his neo expressionist style paintings, is exhibiting sculptural works I had not seen before,
at the Musee D’Art Moderne De la Ville de Paris. Baselitz is not only an artist but also a major collector and these monumental sculptures show the influence and inspiration of the tribal and popular art he collects. Working with an axe and chain saw, these 40 primal painted wooden sculptures are not to be missed.