The first issue of “Artes,” a magazine about art, literature and music, was published online few days ago. The magazine is produced by the Department of Arts and the Department of Classical and Italian Philology of the Alma Mater Studiorum at the University of Bologna, with the help of a group of cultural volunteers from the “Officina San Francesco Bologna,” [St. Francis Workshop in Bologna] which operates out of the St. Francis Library in Bologna, part of the complex of the ancient friary in Bologna. The friary is a presence of the Italian Province of St. Anthony of Padua (Northern Italy).
In her editorial, Elisabetta PASQUINI writes, “This group brings together scholars from different disciplinary fields. They participate in a collective workshop process in which they share skills and knowledge. Their goal is to explore issues related to art, literature, music and history of culture, while observing the Franciscan tradition of valuing the person.”
The Workshop is currently divided into four sections:
The first covers the art and architecture of Alfonso Rubbiani (1848-1913). He was a Franciscan tertiary who, at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, was the driving force behind the restoration of the 13th century Basilica of St. Francis in Bologna. According to some, it was the first basilica to be dedicated to St. Francis after the basilica in Assisi.
The second section is on the literature and philosophy of Dante Alighieri (1265-1321), who frequented Bologna at various stages of his life, and was intensely involved with the city and its culture.
The third section is on the music of Friar Giambattista MARTINI, OFM Conv., (1706-1784) of Bologna. Friar Giambattista was a music historian, a teacher and a composer. He served uninterruptedly as the chapel master of the Basilica of St. Francis in Bologna from 1725 until his death in 1784.
The forth section is on the study and history of Franciscanism. It is dedicated to Brother Bernard of Quintavalle (†1241), the first companion of Francis of Assisi. St Francis personally sent Brother Bernard to Bologna in 1211. Brother Bernard brought with him the propositum vitae, the first synthesis of the Franciscan charism and thus introduced it to culture in this university center.
This open source magazine is available online in Italian at the AlmaDL Journals website using the link https://artes.unibo.it/index. Besides the articles generated by the Officina (see in this regard its Bulletin for 2021 and 2022), other articles appear in the spirit of welcome and participation proper to the Franciscan tradition.
Friar Maurizio M. BAZZONI