THE ETRUSCANS BY LAURA FERRETTI AT THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM IN GROSSETO In   the   rooms   of   the   Archaeological   Museum   the   canvases   by   the   painter   Laura   Ferretti   are   on   display.   "Deep   roots:   the   Etruscans and   their   world":   a   show   that   really   deserves   an   ample   and   above   all   motivated   public.   The   work   by   Laura   Ferretti   takes   part   in   a project   that   has   very   distant   roots.   We   don't   have   to   make   reference   to   the   scientific   knowledge,   that   is   another   thing,   but   to   the effect   that   the   discovery   of   the   Etruscans   had   on   a   wide   public   and   particularly   on   the   European   culture.   We   are   about   at   the   half nineteenth   century.   The   Etruscan   culture   becomes   the   flag   of   the   anticlassicism   since   this   art   was   exactly   the   contrary   of   the classicism,   of   the   academicism,   of   all   those   things   that   the   European   art,   the   European   artists   began   to   feel   a   little   heavy,   as   an inheritance   which   they   have   to   rid   themselves   of.   This   attitude   toward   Etruscan   art   reaches   its   peak   in   the   first   twentieth   century. From   the   literary   point   of   view   we   can   mention   David   Herbert   Lawrence   (the   author   of   The   lover   of   lady   Chatterly)   which   wrote   the book   Etruscan   Countries   or   Etruscan   Places,   according   to   the   presses,   in   which   he   looks   at   the   Etruscan   world   in   an   ascientific   way, in   purely   poetic   way.   He   sees   in   the   Etruscans   the   myth   of   that   liberty,   of   that   naturalness   in   the   behaviors,   of   that   overcoming   of   the bourgeois   conventions   that   constituted   his   deeper   belief.   It   means   the   thematic   of   his   works.   But   we   can   also   remember   another episode   in   the   artistic   field,   dwelling   upon   extremely   meaningful   elements:   the   finding   of   the Apollo   of   Vejo.   It   was   an   artistic   shock,   a cultural   shock.   This   statue   was   even   represented,   in   1920   the   year   of   its   presentation   after   the   restauration,   on   an   official   manifesto of   the   Biennal   Exhibition   in   Venice.   A   circle   is   closed:   the   Apollo   is   considered   the   more   vanguard   work,   the   symbol   of   what   more modern   could   be   introduced.   The   Etruscan   art   put   equal   to   all   those   no   classical   arts,   no   European   art   which   the   European   artists could   draw   their   inspiration   from   to   change   the   European   art   radically.We   have   seen   the   relationship,   between   the   art   and   the Etruscans,   is   extremely   narrow.   A   relationship   independent   from   the   scientific   knowledge,   as   I   have   mentioned   at   the   beginning.   It happens   because   the   artist   has   a   liberty   of   interpretation,   a   liberty   of   use   of   what   antiquity   handed   down   that   the   researcher   doesn't have.   The   researcher   must   conform   to   the   data,   to   the   facts,   to   what   documents   testify,   he   must   give   of   them   an   interpretation   that doesn't   leave   space   to   imagination,   to   phantasy.   On   the   contrary   the   artist   can   interpret   freely. And   sometimes   his   free   interpretation can   arrive   more   distant   of   that   of   the   researcher.What   can   I   say   going   to   the   object   of   this   exhibition,   speaking   about   the   works   by Laura   Ferretti?   It   is   clear   she   was   inspired   by   the   most   well-known   works   of   the   Etruscan   art.   We   have   here   a   panorama   that   all   we know,   particularly   the   painting   of   Tarquinia   from   which   really   meaningful   elements   have   been   extrapolated,   details   that   someone doesn't   perhaps   remember.   For   example   those   details   of   the Tumb   of   the   hunting   and   the   fishing   that   often   recur   because,   evidently, the   artist   has   been   particularly   stricken   by   them.We   have   to   ask   us   the   why   of   such   this   strange   organization   of   the   images:   the spiral,   the   aural   section   that   is   evidently   the   optics,   the   expressive   key   that   the   artist   has   chosen.   The   aural   section   is   a   geometric construction   that   answers   to   a   particular   mathematical   formula   which   allows   to   draw   from   a   rectangle   of   fixed   proportions,   the   aural ones,   so   many   squares   to   infinity   so   as   to   be   left   a   rectangle   with   the   same   proportions   of   the   initial   rectangle.   So   we   have   smaller and   smaller   squares.   From   them   the   spiral   gives   off. Also   being   a   geometric   construction,   it   is   a   sign   full   of   meanings.   The   spiral   is the   infinitely   great   and   the   infinitely   small.   If   we   look   toward   the   center   we   go   toward   the   infinitely   small,   if   we   spread   out   we   go toward   the   infinitely   great.   It   is   a   sign   that   also   brings   to   accumulate   a   lot   of   meanings   in   the   works   by   Laura   Ferretti.   What   to   say, why   this   aural   section,   why   this   spiral?   It   is   clear   we   have   to   think   about   the   antiquity,   about   the   time. About   a   vision   of   a   spiral   time perhaps?   It   is   a   thing   that   we   have   seen   so   many   times   in   the   antiquity,   in   the   literature,   in   the   philosophy.   But   I   would   say   that   this choice   also   brings   us   to   another   very   typical   element:   to   that   something   of   esoteric,   of   mysterious   that   the   Etruscans   bring   with themselves.   Once   more,   the   researchers   refuse   this   mystery   because   they   cannot   accept   a   mystery,   they   cannot   say   there   is   a mystery,   they   have   to   say   we   don't   know.   Obviously,   the   artist   can   catch   the   mystery   and   also   transmit   the   mystery.   On   this suggestion   of   reading   I   would   close.   But   we   can't   forget   the   rest   of   the   production   of   the   artist:   her   landscapes   made   with   palette- knife,   free,   disruptive   landscapes. The   places   of   the   Etruscans   living   nowadays.   I   would   like   to   suggest   a   succession   that   can   give   a road   of   development   for   this   thematic   of   Laura   Ferretti. The   meeting   between   the   landscapes   and   the   Etruscans   could   be   a   new   way to   signify   her   love   for   this   ancient   people   an   her   land.   Something   in   which   the   two   lines   of   her   painting   may   meet   and   give   us   some new emotions. We hope it will be soon.
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Laura Ferretti  painter