Art History 348

Rome in the Age of Bernini

Spring, 2007

Ital Ren/Bar Movies

Derek Jarman's Caravaggio

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Course Description
Course Requirements
Lectures and Web sites
Bibliography for Now and Later
On the Paper
Baroque Painting
The Popes of Baroque Rome
Web sites for Rome


Of Italian Renaissance Interest

Movies of Italian Baroque Interest


Perhaps the best of the portraits of Rome and Italy as the Paradise of Foreigners (see also below, The Fifties Verson. Cheerfully unreal: AH is a visiting Princess, GP a slimy newspaper reporter who turns out to have a conscience after all. The locations are wonderful: AH lives in a palatial building that is the Palazzo Barberini on the exterior and (mostly) the Palazzo Colonna on the interior. The Palazzo Barberini was built in part by Gianlorenzo Bernini and Francesco Borromini and is visitable today as the National Gallery of Art. The Palazzo Colonna is most famous as a showplace of the family's collection of paintings and Venetian glass chandeliers and mirrors. Unseen in the movie is the famous staircase that still contains the cannonball that landed there during the 1848 Siege of Rome. It's open only on Saturday mornings, but is well worth a visit. The rest of the locations in the movie are either identified for you or are obvious.

Also, many of the exterior scenes were shot with a hand-held camera following AH and GP through the city. Most notable is the sequence near the beginning showing AH wandering through the outdoor market and the Spanish Steps.


Movies Set in Italy

The Fifties Verson: Popular movies made in the Fifties set in Italy tended to show lots of major monuments, which is often the only element that makes them bearable today. Even good movies like The Barefoot Contessa and Summertime (see below) contain some ethnic stereotyping that could most charitably be called dated. Still, the photography is often beautiful and you get to see what Italy looked like before smog and mass tourism. Try: Three Coins in the Fountain, 1954; Come September, 1961; Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell, 1968; more recently, there is the slightly more adult Only You of 1994. More interesting movies are:

Do you have suggestions for other titles? Let me know:
Prof. Adrienne DeAngelis

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