Artist: Valentino Monticello Title: Die Tote Stadt Paper Size: 24"w x 19"h Image Size: 19"w x 16"h Medium / Edition : Paper / 195 copies. About this Piece: This Limited Edition Gouttelette on Paper has been printed with lightfast inks onto acid-free, calcium carbonate-buffered stock, mould-made from 100% cotton and sourced from environmentally-conscious paper suppliers.This stunning work of art is produced, in accordance with the artists customary technique of cutting and shaping only the labels taken from bottles of fine wine in order to create the collage. All the wines used here emanate from Belgium, so as to add to the atmosphere of the scene. Die Tote Stadt is an opera in three acts by Erich Wolfgang Korngold and the libretto is by Paul Schott. It is based on Bruges-la-Morte, a short novel by Georges Rodenbach. When the opera premiered in 1920, Korngold was just 23 years old and had already achieved success with his works Der Ring des Polykrates and Violanta. His popularity was so great that Die Tote Stadt was subject to fierce competition amongst German theatres for the right to host its world premiere. Finally, a double premiere was arranged and the opera opened simultaneously in Hamburg and Cologne. Die Tote Stadt was a huge hit in the 1920s. Its theme of overcoming the loss of a loved one resonated with contemporary audiences, who had just come through the trauma and grief of World War I. Within several years, it had toured the globe and became a worldwide success. However, during the Nazi regime, it was banned because of Korngolds Jewish ancestry, making the opera fall into obscurity after World War II. More recently, Die Tote Stadt has enjoyed notable revivals in Bonn, London, San Francisco Opera and Vienna. Die Tote Stadt is set in Bruges, where the recently bereaved Paul broods endlessly on a portrait of his dead love Marie. All that excites him is an encounter with Marietta, a dancer who resembles Marie so uncannily that he begins to think that she is her reincarnation. Dream and reality mingle as Paul travels through his past. About the Artist: Valentino Monticello has three passions: wine, opera and art. An exceptional talent, Monticello cuts and shapes his favourite wine labels into unique artworks that combine an in-depth knowledge of opera and an appreciation of world-class wines. The resulting collages defy belief, when one witnesses the care and the attention to detail which is involved in their creation.
The starting point for each collage is an operatic scene about wine. The artist then selects wine labels from the country where the opera is set, painstakingly cuts them into figures and shapes, and styles them into a composition that also reflects the operas country of origin. Most scenes are framed by a proscenium, copied from the designs of 11 different Opera houses. No painting or drawing is involved in Monticellos collages. The results are both theatrical and multi-faceted.
Born into a viticultural milieu near Vicenza in the Veneto region of Italy, he grew up amongst wine makers; his uncle made grappa in Bassano and often, as a young child, Monticello would help press grapes with his grandfather. In the 1950s, he moved to London to work as a sommelier and in the 1980s he became Head Sommelier at Harrys Bar, a prestigious private members dining club in London.
Monticello has drawn and painted since he was a child but it was whilst working as Head Sommelier that he focused his artistic endeavours upon opera and wine-themed collages. As a sommelier, Monticello had started to collect the labels of wine bottles, as a memento of his favourite wines, great vintages and for their design. This collection, and a commissioned collage in an old peoples home, inspired him recently to publish a book about wine, opera and his collages. The book was launched at an exhibition of Monticellos collages at the National Gallery, London to critical acclaim.
Mark Birley, the owner of Harrys Bar, recognised Monticellos talent, and in 1997, he asked the artist to design the clubs Christmas card. Monticello used the Christmas scene from Puccinis La Boheme. The backdrop was not Paris however but Londons South Audley Street, where Harrys Bar is situated. The entire creation was made from wine and champagne labels and created the stir which pushed Monticellos remarkable artwork to prominence. Description: All Prints are sale priced everyday! Professionally Frame any print from our dealer gallery starting at an additional $199 and receive free shipping! Click here to view the framing options.
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