Filippo from Tuscany presents a handmade illustrated book of Tumanyan’s tales - Mediamax.am

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Filippo from Tuscany presents a handmade illustrated book of Tumanyan’s tales


Photo: Tumanyan Museum

Photo: Filippo Biagioli

Photo: Filippo Biagioli

Photo: Tumanyan Museum

Photo: Filippo Biagioli

Photo: Filippo Biagioli

Photo: Filippo Biagioli

Photo: Tumanyan Museum

Photo: Filippo Biagioli

Photo: Filippo Biagioli

Photo: Filippo Biagioli


Tuscany is considered the cradle of Italian Renaissance. It has a variety of museums and never lacks art experts, writes and sculptors of any kind.

 

One of these talents is artist, sculptor Filippo Biagioli, who creates handmade books as well. His works can be found in museums, churches, ritual sites, private collections. Everything changed for Filippo several months ago, when he came across the first piece of Armenian culture in his life – the work of Hovhannes Tumanyan, the Poet of All Armenians.

Photo: Filippo Biagioli

Filippo’s artworks concern the Tribal and Ritual Art. He has studied a lot of ancient books, where he found information for his work.

 

“I discovered Tumanyan on Twitter. The Hovhannes Tumanyan Museum is part of a network of small but very important museums, especially Italian museums. In my opinion, they are very important and interesting thanks to their cultural heritage. I contacted the Tumanyan Museum. The admin is very active on Twitter and quickly replied to my message. It was the beginning of good cooperation, thanks to that, I was able to implement my idea,” tells Filippo.

Photo: Tumanyan Museum

Prior to that moment, Filippo did not know anything about Armenia and Armenian cultural world.

 

“When I discovered Tumanyan, I have begun to read his fairy tales. I learned history of Armenia, surfing the web, to know the society and culture of Tumanyan. But in my opinion, you have to live in a country and talk to citizens to understand its culture,” says Filippo.

After visiting the website of the museum, he read the biography of the writer and discovered that he was strongly connected to the traditions, folklore and culture of his land - just like Filippo himself.

Photo: Filippo Biagioli

“Our similarity consists in our desire to preserve the memory of our traditions. I always work on projects that I feel are close to my cultural values. I can’t work on something that I don't like, I can’t work in a situation far from me,” explains Filippo.

 

At first, he was surprised to discover that Tumanyan was unknown in Italy despite his large literary heritage. He has searched Tumanyan’s works in Italian language but found nothing. “When I definitely decided to paint Tumanyan’s works, I contacted the museum on Twitter. At that moment, I was working at a sculpted book about the Gospel of Saint Matthew. I often work on two or three projects at the same time,” tells Filippo.

Photo: Filippo Biagioli

The museum sent me Tumanyan's fairy tales translated into Italian by Professor Anna Sirinian. Filippo chose five fairy tales and a graphic decoration in accordance with the size and color of the page.

Photo: Filippo Biagioli

I like all of them, but I have chosen “The death of Kikos”, “Nazar the Brave”, “The jar full of gold”, “The invincible cock” and “The smart and the fool”.  The choice wasn’t artistic, it was based on their length and metrics for having a harmonious artwork,” explains Filippo.

Photo: Filippo Biagioli

The artist has found that Tumanyan’s fairy tales are contemporary and universal, although they tell us a life very different from the actuality. In particular, Filippo refers to the characters. After over 100 years, the main characters have thoughts similar to those we have, deal with the problems and search the meaning of their life.

Photo: Filippo Biagioli

“The book that I have received for working on my manuscript was partially decorated with paintings by children. I have studied the paintings of the children and I have found that they were similar to my style. So, I take inspiration from the Armenian tradition for the decoration of the pages on the left side. The circle is a stylization of an ancient ornate decoration of ancient Armenian capital Dvin,” tells the artist.

Photo: Filippo Biagioli

Filippo Biagioli worked on the illustrations for three months. The artist’s wife helped him give the book its final look.

Photo: Filippo Biagioli

“I usually study the subject matter and then I decide sizes and decorations. Finally, I start to write the manuscript, I bind the pages and I make the cover. My wife made an embroidered bookmark at the beginning of each fairy tale.”

Photo: Tumanyan Museum

When the book is finished, Filippo sent it to the museum as a gift, because he believes in the power of culture and it's diversity.

Photo: Tumanyan Museum

“I hope that the museum could be able to digitalize my book. I also hope to realize other artworks about the Armenian culture and collaborate with Tumanyan Museum again,” added Filippo.

 

Gohar Nalbandyan

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