In this way, Florence became a fertile ground not least for independent scholars, among them popular figures such as Aby Warburg and Robert Davidsohn Besides the cultural stimulation Laura Orvieto found inspiration in the lively exchange of political ideas.
In spite of this one reservation, however, her journalistic activities opened up to Laura once and for all the possibility to break through the private sphere of her previous studies and to articulate her ideas in public. Have you already begun studying together? What are you reading? Especially in the exchange with Amelia Rosselli and Lina Schwarz one can find frequent allusions to Italian, English, German and French writers and poets from various epochs.
They reflect most of all the closely intertwined networks of Jewish women she was involved in, and the social and cultural milieu she identified herself with. Lina Schwarz was very close to her, but especially significant was her profound friendship with the Venice-born writer Amelia Rosselli , who had moved to Florence together with her sons Aldo, Carlo and Nello in As a young boy, Angiolo had frequently gone with his mother to her birthplace Venice in order to visit the Errera relatives, who were also close friends with the Pincherle.
The playwright Rosselli, who had already published several works when she met Laura for the first time, certainly inspired the latter for beginning her own career as writer and journalist. Throughout her life, Laura Orvieto moved about freely between journalism, literature and scholarship, in accordance with her general need for independence and diversity. In her son Leonfrancesco was born, three years later her daughter Annalia. I myself feel this need at the highest level. Until now, I have not been able to do anything. Educating the children as well as observing their development inspired her to write her first book Leo and Lia [Leo and Lia], published in by Bemporad in Florence.
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It was the period in which she concentrated deliberately on issues such as education and pedagogy. An explanation for this phenomenon lies certainly in the central role education and instruction assume within Judaism; in fact even after the erosion of the normative religious system, their significance stayed alive in a transformed, rather secular way. In this way, the contemporary pedagogical discourse in Italy was inspired and developed to a considerable extent by learned women who were not affiliated to universities but often connected with each other on a personal level, such as Orvieto, Schwarz, Errera and the Lombroso sisters.
Laura Orvieto was closely involved in these developments, although she did not write contributions to pedagogy in a scientific sense. She rather took up certain topics and ideas of contemporary educational theory and used them in an individual way for her literary works.
It is surely no coincidence that the notion of freedom, central both to Montessori and to Froebel, gained a particular meaning in her writings. The narration Leo e Lia for example is based on the dialogue between mother and children and was inspired by the everyday life of the Orvieto family itself.
The respective dialogue shows a distinct sense for individual responsibility and morality:. When something is good we must do it, even if it is uncomfortable; when something is bad, we must not do it, even if it seems pleasant to us.
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The innovative potential of her accomplishments as a writer lies therefore not least in the fact that she succeeded in leading the new pedagogical theories of her time out of the academic ivory tower, rendering them accessible and comprehensible to a wider public. It contributed decisively to her public presence, particularly when it comes to her most successful work, the already mentioned Stories of World History. Based on her intense studies of Homer, the authoress retold central episodes of the Iliad and the Odyssey for children. The educational aim is clearly reflected in the commentary of the omniscient story-teller and her children regarding certain parts of the plot.
With the consolidation of the Fascist regime, however, the situation changed, which will be explained in the following. A distinct characteristic in the self-understanding of Laura and her friends was the close connection between learning and social commitment that can be best explained with the influence of the religious Jewish principle of justice and the responsibility of every individual for the well-being of the community.https://eeddeojourwingde.gq
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However, in her private statements Orvieto began to sound less optimistic. The political reality had outrun her ideal to serve a higher purpose. Not like [in the past] when I used to believe the things I wrote were important for the education of humanity! Only a few years later, the authoress begun to face concrete problems regarding the publication of her work. At first, only a part of her writings was concerned. In the letter, which has been handed down to us, one can read that Laura was supposed to delete a whole chapter of her work.
As a result of this, she received a private letter by Enrico Bemporad, in which he insisted:. When interpreting this statement one has to bear in mind that the relationship between Laura and her editor Enrico Bemporad , himself a Jew, was based on great esteem and confidence. Nevertheless, the chapter that had been the bone of contention remained in the book.
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Non-catholic themes had become unpopular and unwanted. The incident gives evidence for the imposed marginalization of Judaism from Italian culture, which was to intensify in the following years. Laura Orvieto, however, did not distance herself after from Jewish themes. On the contrary, she even approached them more decidedly. Especially from the mids onwards, when the anti-Semitic course of the Fascist regime was harshening, she must have felt a particular need for a close examination of her identity and origins.
It is surely no coincidence that the text was written between and , when the rights of Jews in Italy had already been restricted to a considerable extent.
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Even the Lyceum, according to its origins an apolitical and secular institution, dismissed in its Jewish members, and with them also Laura Orvieto. In view of the racial laws that had been passed only a few months before, bitterness and a sense of isolation are clearly perceptible in her writing. This is what we believed at that time, this is what we desired, all of us united, we Italians, without racial discrimination and difference, in a common love and a common belief. By working, Laura continued to create herself individual spaces of comfort and freedom.
Oil and Green Ginger. The Zornale of the Venetian Bookseller Francesco de Madiis, 1484–1488
The right of free speech remained a dominant theme in her work until the end of her life. Compared to the majority of her female contemporaries, Laura was certainly privileged in so far as her parents as well as her husband provided the necessary material and cultural preconditions for her rather unconventional education and development. In accordance with her general need for independence and diversity, she was able to move about freely between journalism, literature and pedagogy for a long time.
With the passing of the Racial laws Laura had to face her definite exclusion not only as a writer but as a human being from Italian society. Unlike many of their family members and friends, Laura and Angiolo survived the war. They belonged to a tiny group of Italian-Jewish scholars who after succeeded in continuing to a certain extent their work as writers and journalists. The overall situation, however, had painfully changed. The past could not be made undone. On von Rumohr, see, among others Julius von Schlosser, introduction to the edition of Italienische Forschungen he edited Frankfurt am M.
As he recounts himself, in Drei Reisen nach Italien. Erinnerungen, Leipzig , pp. Von Rumohr, Italienische Forschungen n. See n. Thanks to this mystical prestige, they [Umbrian painters] dominate their contemporaries in Tuscany, Lombardy and Veneto, despite their many technical imperfections; for example, their artistic feeling, while correct and laudable in itself, is sometimes dry, and becomes dull over time, due to its uniformity.
I have already attempted to demonstrate how it happened that this narrow region of Italy has made such an individual artistic impression, albeit without suficient evidence, making reference to the inluence of the Sienese Taddeo di Bartolo in the countryside of Perugia, a painter who in every sense should be placed above any other for his contribution to the direction that we will see followed by the Umbrian school. Above all the following passage is illuminating, as in his search for evidence, he comes to the conclusion that it is necessary to consider very seriously the situation of those little towns that surround the hill of Assisi, the place consecrated to St Francis.
Finding themselves in such close proximity to the centre of the foundation of his order, they had to be inclined to abandon themselves to the ideas and gentle sentiment that have undoubtedly made a contribution to modern painting reaching its peak. The essay in question had been published the year before, and promptly taken up by more open German Catholic circles, with which von Rumohr was in close contact. On the relationship between von Rumohr and Schelling not for this speciic case , see: Schlosser, Il fondatore n. Peinture, Paris , reprinted In this perfect and marvellous life, few external actions or dramatic episodes are to be found; the virtues that abound in it are, on the contrary, of a very humble and peaceful character […].
We shall see at a later period a school, more especially nourished by these local inspirations, suddenly rise into excellence in the neighbourhood of the holy mountain where the body of St Francis reposes I allude to the Umbrian school, to which belong Perugino and his disciple Raphael. This is the climate in which Francis, from the oblivion of Chateaubriand, would go on to become a paradigmatic igure of the essence of Christianity itself. And Francis considered creation in this light. Where other eyes failed to see such perishable On this theme, see also Bruno Foucart, Le renouveau de la peinture religieuse en France , Paris Citations from p.
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Written after a trip to Assisi in , the text was released the same year in instalments in the Correspondant. The complete edition, published in , was immediately translated into German Julius, and Italian Fanfani, While his analysis does not go so far as to make Francis an unknowing precursor of the Protestant Reformation, as he would later tend to be regarded in that line of historiography, it quite clearly dismantles the image of the staunch and loyal supporter of the Roman Church and its hierarchy. And this, it should be remembered, was at a time when Pius IX and the Minor Conventuals fully intended to crowd the crypt of the basilica with statues of Popes.
The basilica had by now become a popular destination for travellers, from a variety of different cultural backgrounds. Hippolite Taine, who visited Assisi in , recalls the dramatic impression and emotion he experienced, as an atheist, in the presence of the building: There is nothing like it; before seeing it one has no idea of the art and genius of the Middle Ages.
Stanislao da Campagnola, Le origini francescane n. He had been featured only once between and See Foucart, Le renouveau n. Other examples of the genre can be found in Vittorino Facchinetti, Iconograia Francescana, Milano , pp. Karl von Hase, Franz von Assisi. Ein Heiligenbild, Leipzig This occurred both before and after uniication, and involved problems of a political, religious, cultural and social nature. The suppression of religious orders also had consequences right across the country.
In this scenario, the Church of Pius IX gradually moved towards the decision to bring any dialogue to an end. The pope declared himself a political prisoner, and went so far to promulgate the Non expedit on 10 September , which discouraged the participation of the clergy and Catholics in the political life of the Italian state, as the perpetrator of the injustice done to the Church of Rome. In the view of the pope, the image of the saint of Assisi, despite being admired across Europe, must have seemed no longer easily spendable, because of the numerous and antithetical meanings that he embodied.
It was safer to focus on other igures, such as the holy bodies of the early heroic Christians martyrs buried in the catacombs, as evidenced by the famous pavilion created in Paris for the Universal Exhibition of Hippolite Taine, Voyage en Italie, Paris Marinangeli, pp.