Saturday, February 12, 2011

Hayez, The Kiss

Despite his exotic-sounding name, Francesco Hayez was indeed an Italian (his father was French). Just in time for Saint Valentine's Day, here is a painting of lovers famous among Italians. You can find it at the Pinacoteca di Brera, in Milan. I've seen it. What is impressive and memorable is the great sensuality contained in the trappings and customs of the past. The work, dating from 1859, is also symbolic of the ideals of the unity of Italy, which occurred in 1861. This year is in fact Italy's 150th year as a nation.