Dear Friends,


In this extremely strange season when the Covid Pandemic has returned to our shores with added vigour and more serious consequences, but having received the consoling news of the existence of a Vaccine which will start to be available in December and distributed in the following months, let us turn once again our focus not only to political, social and day to day affairs - exciting and gripping as they are - but to our interest for Art and Culture. A calming effect will follow and a rainbow of harmonious shades will colour our horizon.

Spending time with Raphael and Titian, Artemisia Gentileschi and Durer, Munch and Bacon in the National Gallery and Royal Academy;  spending time at the V&A in the restored Raphael Cartoon’s Gallery; trying to decide between Art and Nature explored in the Royal Academy Exhibition “The Making of an Artist: The Great Tradition”, ending on 31 December - an exhibition that should be seen; or Turner at the Tate Gallery. I have mentioned only a few of the many Events which we will present and discuss in the next few months. Some of these discussions will be  sent directly to you in digital form, some in “hopefully” lectures or Zoom presentations like the special one on Dante and Botticelli “From Abyss to Light with Dante and Botticelli” by Alessandro Scafi.

The Diary of Events will give you dates and times whenever needed or details of special Videos.

I look forward to hear from you all and most of all to see you on the screen if not in person. From January 2021, covid permitting, I hope to organise small lunches at the Ognisko Restaurant to give us the chance of talking and smiling together again.

I would also love to receive from you ideas and opinions on our programme and other events you would love to discuss. We do need your support to continue to  introduce Italian and Classical Art presented in London or in Italian museums as we did for the spectacular Raffaello Exhibition in Rome and we hope that you will help us in this endeavour.

Have a good late autumn and winter and try to enjoy nature as much as possible. The leaves will soon be all gone but do remember their golden light with which they were sending a farewell to 2020, but followed by the anticipation of an exciting 2021.  

Saluti Cari,  Rosa Maria Letts




Raffaello, Drawing for Madonna Tempi 1505/6

Video-Lecture by Rosa Maria Letts
on RAFFAELLO 1520 - 1483

RAFFAELLO 1520-1483 - The incredible Exhibition of Raffaello Sanzio Life and Art opened in Rome on 3 March 2020 but closed on 5 March because of Coronavirus. It reopened on 2 June until 30 August. Only a Catalogue in Italian has been left.


For this reason we have created this Video Lecture in English presenting the Exhibition with Images from the Artist’s Funeral, his last moments in his workshop where was his deathbed, surrounded by friends and studio companions, recorded in contemporary paintings.

The Video continues by presenting and discussing Raffaello’s own Masterpieces from death to his early years in the order they were displayed - Appreciated by the Rome Exhibition Team, this Video is a tribute and a Memory to Rome’s greatest Painter and Poet of the High Renaissance - "Ut Pictura Poesis". 

COST: VIDEO-LECTURE: Members & Friends £12 / Others £15                                 More Details

Video-Lecture by Rosa Maria Letts

In anticipation of the reopening in the V&A of the Raphael Cartoons Gallery, which has been under restoration for nearly a year, we narrate the story of the seven Cartoons commissioned in 1515 by Pope Leo X Medici, for Tapestries to be hung in the Sistine Chapel. This was the Pope’s Chapel, used during the most important religious, political and social events of a Pontificate.

Raffaello, Feed My Sheep; Gouache on Paper, Raphael Cartoon Gallery, Victoria&Albert Museum, London

Their design had to be dramatic, imposing, unique but rendered by the Tapestry Maker chosen, in this case Pieter van Aelst from Brussels, "The Tapissier du Roy"  (the Kings’ Weaver) used by all European Kings, Emperor, aristocrats of the 16 C. 


Inspired by the Acts of the Apostles and created during the summit of Raphael's artistic career, he was able to see their realisation in December 1519. He died three months later.  


Joshua Reynolds wrote "the most considerable and most esteemed works of Raffaello, are his Fresco Pictures in the Vatican and his Cartoons in England…", Discourses 1778 and John Pope Hennessy described as "the main scenes in the History of early Christianity interpreted by one of the world’s greatest artists in his full maturity." London 1950 

COST:   VIDEO-LECTURE: Members & Friends £12 / Others £15; 
              BOTH VIDEO-LECURES: Members & Friends £20 / Others £25


The series will deal in each article with one or two individual paintings, often compared with each other, in which the Artist in order to illustrate a subject will prepare drawings, models, or designs which at times will be copied or inserted on the support as underdrawings. These will be in charcoal if used under Mosaics or Frescoes but also ink, pen or pencils utilised at times and in more than one composition. X Ray photography and other processes allow us now to see the Artist's original intention  often changed in the final Painting.

Woman with Stylus from Pompeii 1ST C, Roman, Fresco on Gesso, Archeological Museum of Naples  

What I will try to do is to help you discover details and specific areas of interest in the compositions which may go unnoticed but, once seen, will reveal the depth of a theme, the intensity of a truly felt experience, the magic of a new reality shared with the artist.

The First Article you have received on Artemisia' s Judith beheading Holofernes is an example of a "Critical Discussion" (offered free).

Future Articles will deal with: 

  • NOVEMBER - Artemisia Gentileschi

  • DECEMBER - Raffaello

  • JANUARY 2021 - Artemisia Gentileschi

  • FEBRUARY - Albrecht Durer

COST:   –––––––––––––––––––
CRITICAL ANALYSES batch of 3: Members & Friends £12 / Others £15

–  EVENTS  –

Wed 18 November 2020
at 11.30 am 



Victoria & Albert

Visit to the Restored Gallery of the Raphael Cartoons


COST: Members & Friends £12 / Others £15

Pieter van Aelst: The Miraculous Draft of Fishes, from Raphael’ s Cartoon, Tapestrie, Vatican Museums. 1515/16

Botticelli: Drawings from his Divina Commedia  

Wed 27 January 2021 
at 6.30 pm

Lecture in the Polish Club 1st Floor Room 
or by Zoom 

Dr Alessandro Scafi:
"From Abyss to Light with Dante and Botticelli" 

to Commemorate 700 Years of Dante Alighieri’s Death.

The Lecture is given by one of the world's experts on Dante the creator of the Italian language
More Details
COST: Members & Friends £20  / Others £25
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Accademia Italiana / Artstur
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