The lives of the greatest historians of Italian art of the XIX and XX centuries, their studies and writings are recounted – and collected in this volume – by the greatest contemporary experts of the sector. A fascinating journey ensues through the modern interpretation of artistic sources and critical texts, in which every single phase is almost always and directly marked out by the editor of the Opera Omnia and of the personal archive of the scholar in question.
Drawings by Cavalcaselle committed to memory in notebooks, photographs by Adolfo Venturi as an unequivocal «parallel text», the concept of «art criticism» introduced by his son Lionello. Then come Longhi’s literary prose, Argan’s subjective interpretation: each of these “portraits in words” is composed like a magnificent and revealing painting, which only hands as expert as those of the subject depicted could have traced in such a participatory and spontaneous manner, original and profound at the same time.
Every essay, every very personal glance in reality departs from a common perspective angle, from which the reader finally discerns the inedited and totally unexpected side of the modern art expert.
Art historian and critic, Alessandro Masi is general secretary of the Società Dante Alighieri and editor in chief of the review «Terzocchio». His publications include Un’arte per lo Stato, Jekyll e Hyde e lo strano caso dell’arte contemporanea, Storia dell’arte italiana 1909-1942.
Chiara Barbato, Sveva Battifoglia, Silvia Benassai, Anna Maria D’Achille, Edith Gabrielli, Arturo Galansino, Laura Laureati, Donata Levi, Sergio Rossi, Valentina Spata, Stefano Valeri.