On April 1, the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America at Columbia University presents two new lavishly-illustrated books that add nuance, color, and scholarly documentation to the portrait of Sicily and its history.
Enciclopedia della Sicilia
This authoritative volume represents years of work by 220 scholars covering the art, history, literature, music, photography, theatre, cinema, philosophy, science, archeology, geography, laws, and folkways of Sicily in 4000 detailed entries and 500 vibrant color illustrations. hattering myths and exploring little-known aspects of the island, the Enciclopedia is a resource like no other.
Fiori di Sicilia – The Lost 1811 Herbarium
Available to the public for the first time, Fiori di Sicilia: “Acis Hortus Regius”--Erbario di Giuseppe Riggio, Acireale, 1811, reproduces a recently discovered Sicilian herbarium originally consisting of four folio volumes containing 753 richly colored hand-painted tables. The herbarium was commissioned by Giuseppe Riggio, an intriguing, erudite chemist from Acireale, near Mt. Etna; each of its watercolor tables is a small gem.
Franco Maria Ricci, the pioneer of Italian art publishing and creator of FMR magazine (“the black pearl of the publishing world,” according to Federico Fellini), commissioned these volumes for his new imprint, Ricci Editore. Caterina Napoleone, who edited and curated these two projects, is an art historian based in Rome; she specializes in baroque sculpture and antiquarian culture.
As part of the Academy’s Focus on Sicily, the book presentation will be followed by a reception and a screening of Luchino Visconti’s Il Gattopardo (the first of the Academy’s “Sicily is Cinema” film series).