Author Archives: Luisella Mazza

Creativity in a crisis

As the realities of a global pandemic sank in and the UK went into lockdown, children and young people employed their everyday surroundings as inspiration for creativity. Kitchen tables, living room floors and gardens were transformed into art studios. The hand-drawn rainbows that started appearing in windows across England in early spring were one of many signals that young people want to be heard, and that they are able to respond to the current crisis in an artistic way. 


Google Arts & Culture has teamed up with Arts Council England to collect these voices and allow young people to express themselves on a global platform. Arts Council England, dedicated to promoting the performing, visual and literary arts in England, launched The Way I See It at the start of the summer. Working with five cultural organizations, they invited children and young people across the country to stretch their creative muscles as they responded to the effects of the COVID-19 crisis. The partner organizations—English National Opera, BALTIC, Company Three, Dancefest and Heart & Soul—set out challenges such “Lockdown Aria,” “This Is My Statement” and “Half A Minute Movie,” which invited 30-second films inspired by a newly acquired skill.
I was inspired by communities coming together during lockdown and I felt it was a good thing to document what had happened. Ben from Birmingham, age 13

Now, Google Arts & Culture has provided the projects with a permanent digital home. Explore this playful and personal collection of spoken word, film, visual art, photography, music, dance and more created during lockdown, as well as new pieces produced in response to a series of summer challenges. It’s an engaging depiction of life in 2020 as experienced by 170 people aged between 2 and 28 years old. Visit g.co/TheWayISeeIt to explore the whole collection. 

In addition to this collaboration with Arts Council England, Google Arts & Culture has also worked with several European art schools to virtually exhibit their students’ responses to the crisis. For Room with a View, young artists were asked to create a piece of art from or of their window—a fitting symbol, as windows have functioned throughout art history as both barriers and connections to the outside world. Students from Accademia di Belle Arti Bologna, École Camondo, Central Saint Martins, London College of Fashion and Edinburgh College of Art responded with over 150 submissions, ranging from acrylic and oil to video. The final collection has been curated by Amira Gad, Head of Programmes, Light Art Space (LAS), to draw out some common themes like Nostalgia, New Perspectives and Reimagining Spaces. Discover the full collection at g.co/roomwithaview.

Painter and pioneer: Artemisia at The National Gallery

Artemisia Gentileschi didn’t fit the mold of the typical 17th-century Italian gentlewoman. At a time when women had limited opportunities to pursue artistic training, Artemisia forged a career for herself and established an international reputation. 

Thanks to a collaboration with The National Gallery, which is hosting the first major retrospective of Artemisia in the U.K., Google Arts & Culture is bringing Artemisia’s story to life online. The exclusive digital retrospective unites 14 of her incredible works, including The National Gallery’s new acquisition “Self Portrait as Saint Catherine of Alexandria” and the recently rediscovered “Mary Magdalene in Ecstasy.”
With me your Illustrious Lordship will not lose and you will find the spirit of Caesar in the soul of a woman Artemisia Gentileschi

Artemisia’s incredible skill was not just in her paintwork—it was also in her deeply emotive storytelling. In her hands, the canon of saints and biblical figures became formidable women in charge of their own destinies. 

As a result of new ultra-high resolution photography, the painted ceiling of Marlborough House in London is now available to view in all its minute glory. The grand artwork, “An Allegory of Peace and the Arts,” is thought to have been a joint effort between Artemisia and her father Orazio, also a renowned painter, during their time in London, and is now part of the Royal Collection. The work is not usually accessible to the public, but now you can zoom into the finest brushstrokes and get the same perspective Artemisia had from up on her scaffolding.

Musician FKA twigs lent her voice to a series of Art Zoom films that take you on a guided journey through three iconic Artemisia paintings, highlighting Artemisia’s relevance to women of today and how her legacy informed the art canon. “Mary Magdalene was a major inspiration for my last album and when I learned about the history of the female painter Artemisia Gentileschi, it impacted me,” said FKA twigs. “Artists like her have fought so hard to be recognized that it’s amazing I could help shine a light on her beautiful work.”

The collection of artworks has been brought together from eleven partner museums in six countries. There are more than 30 immersive stories that translate the hidden details of Artemisia's self-portraits, recount her life in Rome and Florence, and investigate her troubled relationship with her father.  

Visit g.co/Artemisia to immerse yourself in Artemisia’s incredible legacy and be inspired by her story.

Ti Amo Italy: a historic theater takes center stage in a new music video

“Ti Amo.” I love you. The new song from French synth-pop stars Phoenix. The title song from their recently released album “Ti Amo” is a love letter to Italy: from festivals in Sanremo, to singer Franco Battiato, to melted gelato.

In the video for the song, created by La Blogothèque and directed by Colin Solal Cardo in collaboration with Google Arts & Culture, Phoenix’s Thomas Mars abandons his guided tour of the Teatro Bibiena to sneak off and perform with his bandmates Christian Mazzalai, Laurent Brancowitz and Deck D’Arcy, around the stage, in the corridors and boxes of the theater—all shot live on 35mm film in one continuous shot.

But the real star of the video is the Teatro Bibiena itself. It’s a stunningly beautiful Baroque theater in the Italian town of Mantua. Measuring just 425 square meters, it seats about 300 people—less than a tenth of New York’s famous Carnegie Hall. Its surprisingly small, bell-shaped space is decorated with a wooden geometric ceiling, dozens of arched boxes and monochrome frescoes. Originally intended as an academic lecture hall when it was built, in the 1760s, guests soon realized that the space had amazing acoustics, and it was then used to house music and theater performances. A 14-year-old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart even played there!

Phoenix hero

Take a look around the theatre yourself with Street View or browse through the history of this cultural gem on Google Arts & Culture.

Phoenix
Deck D’Arcy, Christian Mazzalai, Thomas Mars and Laurent Brancowitz of Phoenix

Ti Amo Italy: a historic theater takes center stage in a new music video

“Ti Amo.” I love you. The new song from French synth-pop stars Phoenix. The title song from their recently released album “Ti Amo” is a love letter to Italy: from festivals in Sanremo, to singer Franco Battiato, to melted gelato.

In the video for the song, created by La Blogothèque and directed by Colin Solal Cardo in collaboration with Google Arts & Culture, Phoenix’s Thomas Mars abandons his guided tour of the Teatro Bibiena to sneak off and perform with his bandmates Christian Mazzalai, Laurent Brancowitz and Deck D’Arcy, around the stage, in the corridors and boxes of the theater—all shot live on 35mm film in one continuous shot.

Phoenix - Ti Amo (Live in Teatro Bibiena, Mantova)

But the real star of the video is the Teatro Bibiena itself. It’s a stunningly beautiful Baroque theater in the Italian town of Mantua. Measuring just 425 square meters, it seats about 300 people—less than a tenth of New York’s famous Carnegie Hall. Its surprisingly small, bell-shaped space is decorated with a wooden geometric ceiling, dozens of arched boxes and monochrome frescoes. Originally intended as an academic lecture hall when it was built, in the 1760s, guests soon realized that the space had amazing acoustics, and it was then used to house music and theater performances. A 14-year-old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart even played there!

Phoenix hero

Take a look around the theatre yourself with Street View or browse through the history of this cultural gem on Google Arts & Culture.

Phoenix
Deck D’Arcy, Christian Mazzalai, Thomas Mars and Laurent Brancowitz of Phoenix

Ti Amo Italy: a historic theater takes center stage in a new music video

“Ti Amo.” I love you. The new song from French synth-pop stars Phoenix. The title song from their recently released album “Ti Amo” is a love letter to Italy: from festivals in Sanremo, to singer Franco Battiato, to melted gelato.

In the video for the song, created by La Blogothèque and directed by Colin Solal Cardo in collaboration with Google Arts & Culture, Phoenix’s Thomas Mars abandons his guided tour of the Teatro Bibiena to sneak off and perform with his bandmates Christian Mazzalai, Laurent Brancowitz and Deck D’Arcy, around the stage, in the corridors and boxes of the theater—all shot live on 35mm film in one continuous shot.

Phoenix - Ti Amo (Live in Teatro Bibiena, Mantova)

But the real star of the video is the Teatro Bibiena itself. It’s a stunningly beautiful Baroque theater in the Italian town of Mantua. Measuring just 425 square meters, it seats about 300 people—less than a tenth of New York’s famous Carnegie Hall. Its surprisingly small, bell-shaped space is decorated with a wooden geometric ceiling, dozens of arched boxes and monochrome frescoes. Originally intended as an academic lecture hall when it was built, in the 1760s, guests soon realized that the space had amazing acoustics, and it was then used to house music and theater performances. A 14-year-old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart even played there!

Phoenix hero

Take a look around the theatre yourself with Street View or browse through the history of this cultural gem on Google Arts & Culture.

Phoenix
Deck D’Arcy, Christian Mazzalai, Thomas Mars and Laurent Brancowitz of Phoenix

Mantova, Italy’s Capital of Culture 2016, on Google Arts & Culture

The City of Mantova, the Italian Capital of Culture 2016, unveils its story along with its finest cultural treasures and natural beauty on Google Arts & Culture.

With your smartphone or computer, start exploring the wonders of the Palazzo Te: admire the lively details of the frescos of the Chamber of the Giants and use Google Cardboard to step in the room and visit all the other iconic places of Mantova, immersing yourself in its heritage in 360°.

For the first time in Italy, the use of the Art Camera made it possible to bring online in ultra high resolution 50 paintings from the Palazzo’s collection including the enigmatic Portrait of Giulio Romano by Titian.

You will be amazed by the majestic ceiling of the Teatro Bibiena,  haunted by the spirit of Mozart who played the opening concert the 16th of January 1770. Leaf through the books of the Biblioteca Teresiana to find the verses of the Songbook for Isabella d'Este, a great Renaissance woman, or the illuminated pages of the invaluable manuscript from the library of the monastery of Saint Benedict in Polirone. Then, take a walk inside the Palazzo del Podestà, currently undergoing restoration, a work in progress that allows us to track the successive transformations and functions of the buildings.

Yet the treasures of Mantova are not limited to the inside of its palaces. The City is itself an open-air museum inviting the user for a walk to discover its magnificent sights, its story, tradition and tastes.  

With the end of the year approaching, Mantova will soon pass on its title of Italian Capital of Culture to another Italian city, but its timeless artworks and wonders will remain accessible to anyone online on the Google Arts & Culture platform. Visit it at g.co/mantova2016

Mantova, Italy’s Capital of Culture 2016, on Google Arts & Culture

The City of Mantova, the Italian Capital of Culture 2016, unveils its story along with its finest cultural treasures and natural beauty on Google Arts & Culture.

With your smartphone or computer, start exploring the wonders of the Palazzo Te: admire the lively details of the frescos of the Chamber of the Giants and use Google Cardboard to step in the room and visit all the other iconic places of Mantova, immersing yourself in its heritage in 360°.

For the first time in Italy, the use of the Art Camera made it possible to bring online in ultra high resolution 50 paintings from the Palazzo’s collection including the enigmatic Portrait of Giulio Romano by Titian.

You will be amazed by the majestic ceiling of the Teatro Bibiena,  haunted by the spirit of Mozart who played the opening concert the 16th of January 1770. Leaf through the books of the Biblioteca Teresiana to find the verses of the Songbook for Isabella d'Este, a great Renaissance woman, or the illuminated pages of the invaluable manuscript from the library of the monastery of Saint Benedict in Polirone. Then, take a walk inside the Palazzo del Podestà, currently undergoing restoration, a work in progress that allows us to track the successive transformations and functions of the buildings.

Yet the treasures of Mantova are not limited to the inside of its palaces. The City is itself an open-air museum inviting the user for a walk to discover its magnificent sights, its story, tradition and tastes.  

With the end of the year approaching, Mantova will soon pass on its title of Italian Capital of Culture to another Italian city, but its timeless artworks and wonders will remain accessible to anyone online on the Google Arts & Culture platform. Visit it at g.co/mantova2016

Mantova, Italy’s Capital of Culture 2016, on Google Arts & Culture

The City of Mantova, the Italian Capital of Culture 2016, unveils its story along with its finest cultural treasures and natural beauty on Google Arts & Culture.

With your smartphone or computer, start exploring the wonders of the Palazzo Te: admire the lively details of the frescos of the Chamber of the Giants and use Google Cardboard to step in the room and visit all the other iconic places of Mantova, immersing yourself in its heritage in 360°.

For the first time in Italy, the use of the Art Camera made it possible to bring online in ultra high resolution 50 paintings from the Palazzo’s collection including the enigmatic Portrait of Giulio Romano by Titian.

You will be amazed by the majestic ceiling of the Teatro Bibiena,  haunted by the spirit of Mozart who played the opening concert the 16th of January 1770. Leaf through the books of the Biblioteca Teresiana to find the verses of the Songbook for Isabella d'Este, a great Renaissance woman, or the illuminated pages of the invaluable manuscript from the library of the monastery of Saint Benedict in Polirone. Then, take a walk inside the Palazzo del Podestà, currently undergoing restoration, a work in progress that allows us to track the successive transformations and functions of the buildings.

Yet the treasures of Mantova are not limited to the inside of its palaces. The City is itself an open-air museum inviting the user for a walk to discover its magnificent sights, its story, tradition and tastes.  

With the end of the year approaching, Mantova will soon pass on its title of Italian Capital of Culture to another Italian city, but its timeless artworks and wonders will remain accessible to anyone online on the Google Arts & Culture platform. Visit it at g.co/mantova2016