“The Roesler Franz family and the Via Iniziatica” by Francesco Roesler Franz: between mystery and art!
“A journey into the life and art of Ettore Roesler Franz”
“The Roesler Franz family and the Via Iniziatica” the intriguing essay by Francesco Roesler Franz is now available online and in the best bookshops.
In this work, the writer has recounted the life and mysteries contained in the paintings of his great-uncle Ettore Roesler Franz, a nineteenth-century Roman painter. The painter’s family came to Rome from Prague in 1747 and settled in the district of Piazza di Spagna, a district defined in those years by Giacomo Casanova as libertine (in the sense of libertarian), cosmopolitan and a Freemason.
It is clear from his life that he was socially committed alongside his brother Alexander and Joseph Severn, during the years when he worked in the English consulate in Rome helping the Carbonari against the temporal power of the Papal States. The close friendship with Ettore Ferrari and Ernesto Nathan throughout his life is also evident.
Also evident is the Roman painter’s connection both with people of the highest artistic and cultural level in Britain during his long stays in London (in particular with members of the Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood) and with Harvard University professors Henry H. Longfellow and James Russell Lowell, who were the founders of the American Dante Society.
Among the friendships that stand out, however, is the one between Ettore Roesler Franz and John Ruskin, whom the Roman watercolourist got to know not only through his books but, instead, they also got to know each other in London by taking part in some exhibitions together.
Because of the air he breathed from an early age, living in an international family environment, the artist, as well as being a bearer of the initiates’ secrets, has also incorporated them into his paintings with symbols rich in details to be interpreted. Symbols that the writer Francesco Roesler Franz helps us to identify and decode, taking us into a world of mystery and esotericism, leading us back to leading exponents in the history of European art, just think of Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Nicolas Poussin.
Francesco Roesler Franz takes us by the hand to take our steps into art, taking us inside the watercolour collection of Roma Sparita owned by the municipality of Rome to rediscover the fascination of his great-uncle’s paintings and the hidden meaning in the paintings. He does this with delicacy and enthusiasm, telling us anecdotes and explaining each of the significant links the watercolourist had with exponents of European culture and art.
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