Art, Garden and Olives

by Joelle

It’s such a great feeling to come back from hectic Florence and have a nice walk around the peaceful garden here at the Villa.

Throughout the centuries it has been a tradition for Italian nobility to be patrons to great artists. Villa Mangiacane stays true to this tradition, sponsoring on-site artists from Zimbabwe and abroad, and numerous art exhibition openings.

The best time for a walk is in the early evening, prior to sunset. Colors reach a degree of saturation which is ideal for photo-shoots or for just admiring the splendid collection of art and sculptures integrated in the composition of centennial trees, water basins, small lemon trees in terracotta vases, and iron benches in a quiet retreat, not to mention the vast, almost infinite renaissance perspective of olive groves upon San Casciano’s hills.

Most of the profits go to deserving African charities and the remaining profits are reinvested to support the Shona Art Sculptors in Zimbabwe and to promote their work by enabling them to gain international recognition and exposure.

As you pace amongst the myriad masterpieces in the ‘Giardino della Scultura‘ with its backdrop of nature, your eye travels in time as it moves across a spectrum the includes Lithuanian cubism and Zimbabwean Shona Sculptures.

The Villa Mangiacane Estate stretches over 300 hectares with very versatile locations for any photographic or film shoot. This Renaissance haven is an efficient location that offers a high variety of  “ready to use” settings with great props: opulent chairs, artworks, textures and materials indoors as well as the Tuscan forest, vineyards, olive groves and the famous sculpture garden outdoors.

I realize that not only myself and Cosmopolitan magazine, but also Award winning Norwegian photographer Petter Hegre — who studied at the Brooks Institute of Photography in California and worked for Richard Avedon before returning to Europe — that have enjoyed the inspiration of the magical garden at the Villa. Hegre, who published six books and whose work has been exhibited internationally, is known for being the pioneer of a new photographic genre called ‘The New Nude’, challenging ingrained views on the female nude.

Just as the Renaissance sculptors believed that a masterpiece lay dormant in every stone, and that artist simply awakens it- Villa Mangiacane itself has awakened to embrace a new era…

By the way if you happen to be in the neighborhood check out the Giardino because a container full of new art work in on its way at this time, to live by the Olive trees through eternity…

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