Imperial China in scarlet lanterns, outside a Napoleonic palace in an alleyway of Italy. The Dannunzian poetry in hand-forged metal blades next to busts sculpted in Majella stone. We are in Lanciano , an Abruzzo town with a noble and rich history. A man sits on the threshold of an ancient arched door and tells himself. When it does it has something to express: feelings, passions, honors and disgraces.
The important concept is that the thoughts it expresses are authentic, honest and originated from an inner analysis and from (at least profound) knowledge and partly acceptance of one’s own being.
The nobles of mind, when they tell each other, doubt the most banal certainties and create space and time to make themselves, and to make questions, even obvious obviousness, thus building a debate, an opening.
This man has decided to open up little by little. An artichoke with a hostile and armored rind but with a tender heart full of nourishment.
The Master chats with Dante
I’ve known him for some years now and I’ve managed to catch only a few nuances of his multifaceted and pungent personality. I would call it astonishing, in the sense that it might astonish me at any moment, in every instant of the universe.
He is an antiquarian, painter, artist and scholar. It has an immense collection of objects, which contain much of the culture of Abruzzo and Italy, from pieces that belonged to Gabriele D’Annunzio to necklaces made of human phalanges.
Prefers to remain anonymous:
I was born at the Renzetti di Lanciano Civil Hospital, on 2 June 1947. My first child of a large family, my mother did not yet live eighteen.
I weighed a lot, so I was born with the scissors, “I was born with the irons” [ Lunatico ] used to say once.
I had to call Biagio, like my grandfather, but since my father had a quarrel with him before I was born, he gave me another name at the end.
My father was a cabinetmaker. I was born in a workshop with a smell of sawdust and I define myself as the son of sawdust . I associate the sound of the saw with the fragrances of walnut, pine and cherry.
Shutters, furniture, trunks were built in the shop. In order to collaborate I finished them, polished them and painted them.
Then I started to work as a painter, a seasonal job at the time. It had been working since before Easter Monday because it was in use to “clean up” the house after the winter, as the walls were stained with the fumes of the fireplaces, the braziers and the stoves. All until October, when it was not practical to repay the house because the color did not dry, sometimes freezing.
A room in the workshop of the Master
In this logic of seasonal work in October I returned to the shop.
Reinvestivo what I earned the summer in objects to restore the winter.
I bought the things I liked first of all for myself ; sometimes it could be a piece of furniture to be restored or sometimes paintings, extravagant objects and so on.
Slowly I began to collect, then becoming Antiquarian.
I think that my objects have signed an era and will sign others, outside of us.
They are testimonies and history of a track.
So I unearthed this stuff, to which I returned the dignity of the salon. I was reminded of antiquities from all parts of Italy. I came in possession of two florets belonging to Gabriele D’Annunzio as well as I have a painting, which portrays the Poet Vate, presumably painted by Francesco Paolo Michetti .
Antiques is a world that for many can be mysterious. There are people who appreciate it (and I say that they are endowed with poetry), while others consider it all as “old and soulless” (these can not be called poets).
You know, there’s the famous saying: “The old stuff ends up in the crazy house”.
Well, I avail myself of the power to be crazy !