« The convulsive beauty »
The history of this collection began almost thirty years ago in Paris, near the shiny new Centre Pompidou. In an adjacent street, at the National Museum of Modern Art, Luca MOIOLI came upon the object which piqued his imagination and became the inspiration for this passion: a pince-nez lying in an open umbrella. This somewhat mundane object became the symbol of his collection: a new lens through which to find a new vision.
A series of ten pieces on display provoked an interest that led him to build a collection of some fifty pairs of glasses and spectacles, dating from the 16th to the 18th centuries, and today on view in the Safilo Eyglass Museum in Padua and in Pieve di Cadore, in Veneto.
At the same time, Moioli developed an ongoing passion for optical instruments, scientific instruments, clocks, and astronomical timepieces. The number of objects in the collection continues to grow, and now includes objects in ivory, amber, coral, rock crystal, and semi precious stones (jasper, lapis lazuli, amethyst, serpentine). The collection focusses on the production of the 16th and 17th centuries, while not ignoring pieces from earlier or later periods.
Enza TARTAGLIA became a partner in this collection fifteen years ago, enriching it with the works of non-European cultures. Their research and collecting interests widened to include the curious, the "never seen," the uncommon, and the supernatural.
MOIOLI and TARTAGLIA buy out of passion, looking to discover secrets of manufacture without trying to be exhaustive in any particular field. It is with the moving and powerful sense of discovery, of "something revealed" that this collection has continued to grow and develop. The objects harmonize with each other in a continuity of material, form, color, and use. The pieces continue to be juxtaposed in terms of various relationships and in unusual combinations.
There is no obvious continuity, and yet a Diondon hystrix can be paired with a wax memento mori, just above a Nok sculpture, or a flayed St. Bartholomew which stares at an ivory Venus next to a sundial, under the protection of a unicorn horn and a branch of coral, all reflected in a modern steel sculpture.
So it is finally in the spirit of the 16th century Wunderkammer that the collection finds its rationale and its roots. a lineage for this group of heterogeneous objects: a collection of "scientific" and "enigmatic" objects, joining in the pursuit of the missing piece that can finally define and complete this living still life.
Does anything like this exist already?