The Fine Arts Academy of Ravenna has a long history and a rich tradition continually renewed, in a beautiful city like Ravenna, the capital of the ancient Early Christian and Byzantin mosaics. The Fine Arts Academy of Ravenna is a unique educational experience all over the world.
It offers highly specialised courses: a three-year degree and a two-year master’s degree in Mosaics.
Research and creativity in connection with mosaics as a contemporary language are applied especially to architecture, decoration and design with a professionalism that also includes the restoration of contemporary mosaics.
Experimentation, research projects, workshops in the national and international scene, meetings with art historians and curators, companies, contact with the art market thanks to events and exhibitions, a teaching staff that combines excellent traditions with the best of contemporary innovation.
- with architects in urban furnishing projects
- producing objects in the world of design
- education: creative activities and mosaics in schools and museums
The Fine Arts Academy of Ravenna opened on 26th November 1829. Since that date a fascinating path started for the town whose artistic and cultural ambitions affected it thanks to a succession of actors and purposes.
The first years are connected to Ignazio Sarti (1790-1854), a Bolognese artist who completed his training in Rome, and was the main actor in developing an intense start-up especially in getting new works, prints and plaster cast copies including an important group by Canova, still nowadays a precious heritage of the Academy.
At the beginning the Academy Direction was completely neoclassic, but afterwards, with the arrival of Florentine Arturo Moradei (1840-1901) in 1870, it became much more naturalistic, leading the passage to the aspectations of the painters so called “della macchia” (literally patch or spot), opening the topoi of that kind of painting, that will be known in Ravenna as the Genre painting all through the century up to the following director, Domenico Miserocchi, also called “il Pastorino”.
In the early twentieth century there was an intense innovative stimulus expressed by the direction of Vittorio Guaccimanni (1859-1939) who applied himself in order to make the relationship much more effective between the artistic and industrial educational offer of the Academy, and the reality of Romagna territory.
Meanwhile, in Europe the symbolist-decadent movement started. In 1903 Gustav Klimt visited Ravenna where the famous beautiful mosaics likely inspired his gold technique and his Byzantine imagery. Important figures also appeared among the students of Academy in that period.
The Futurist revolution will shortly sign the experience of Orazio Toschi (1887-1972). As a student he was an anti-academy critic and then, as a mature artist, author of Pittura Lirica whose text was printed in 1921.
Brothers Arnaldo and Bruno Ginanni Corradini were keen futurists, called Ginna (1890-1982) and Corra (1892-1976) respectively, the former a painter who abandoned the Academy of Ravenna and continued his studies in Florence where he made the film Vita Futurista (1916), the latter a writer.
Both of them enlivened famous meetings at Byron Hotel or in a Villa (country house) at Campiano, a small village near Ravenna and in this way they set up a sort of an esoteric artistic coterie in line with the European experiences of Spiritualism in arts and theories on abstract painting .
An important person playing a leading role for the Academy redevelopment was Giovanni Guerrini (1887-1972), engraver, experimenter and creator of Arts &Crafts, as well interpreter of an innovative outlook that will take him to recover the gift for mosaic art in Ravenna, supporting the setting up of the Mosaic School, inside the Academy itself, in 1924.
During his Mosaic School direction, the painter Giuseppe Zampiga opened a conservative line, then renovated by his student Renato Signorini who will take his place in the direction of the School up to 1976. Thanks to prestigious orders and the presence of artists such as Antonio Rocchi and Ines Morigi Berti, the contemporary mosaic art season opened.
As regards painting we can say that it was substantially characterized by a naturalistic dimension, confirmed by Guido Ferroni, renovated with an intimist and expressionist vein by Luigi Viroli and then follewed by Teodoro Orselli and Umberto Folli. Regarding sculpture, the period is characterized by the figure of Umberto Pinzauti and only later in the Sixties by Giannantonio Bucci.
After this substantive continuity, in the central years of the century, Raffaele De Grada was appointed director (1971-1976) and this will coincide with a new educational method. In those years the Academy worked on the enlargement of more applicative and technical subjects and on a new relationship between these and picture, sculpture and decoration courses.
Graphic design, photography and visual communication take a central position thanks to important artists such as Remo Muratore, Giò Pomodoro, Luca Crippa and Tono Zancanaro. In the meantime the Academy of Fine Arts of Ravenna is formally recognized (1974).
The last twenty years are characterized by a renovated relation between the Institute ant the territory especially along the romagnola coast, and therefore it begins a series of important collaborations such as the project Tende al mare (Tents at the seaside) opened by Dario Fo.
The Nineties are also the years of remarkable projects where mosaic involves artists of great importance such as Sandro Chia and Enzo Cucchi. During the same years there are many projects connected with the devolpment of photography course and important artistic events dedicated to it followed one another under Guido Guidi’s care. At the same time the Academy gets an important national pre-eminence that is the ministerial authorization for teaching goldsmith’s art and Mosaics.
Finally, the Fine Arts Academy of Ravenna has recently offered a three-year degree course in Visual Arts-Mosaics and a two-year master’s degree in Mosaics, being a unique educational experience in Italy and all over the world and confirming a strict connection with highly qualified and specialised courses in line with a renovated approach to mosaic as a contemporary language and as an increasingly artistic scale.