Art Nouveau: The Birth of Modern Style with Guest Lecturer, Dr Gregorio Thaon di Revel Mazzonis di Pralafera

23 Mar 2023

We have a special treat for our Strauss & Co audience.

We are privileged to have with us
Dr Gregorio Thaon di Revel Mazzonis di Pralafera 

Gregorio, is native to Turin, Italy. This charming Italian has extensive experience in the museum and decorative arts world and as a keen scholar with contributions to over 35 books and articles, we are lucky to have him share his expertise with us here in Cape Town, where he is currently residing.

Gregorio has a special blend of knowledge that covers both the decorative arts from the antique world, through to that of modern and contemporary art. Some fascinating highlights of his CV include his cataloguing of material relating to the Holy Shroud; he has worked with Alvar Gonzalez Palacious, the world-renowned expert on French furniture; he has extensive experience working with both private galleries and collectors, as well as large national museums. Gregorio has spent over 20 years with the Fondazione Torino Musei in senior positions, which relate to his keen engagement with modern art and the decorative arts and antiquities. Along with all of this, Gregorio has a special interest in continental furniture, silverware and clocks, which he brings to our shores.

We are honoured to have Gregorio present a lecture of special significance to the Decorative Arts at 12 noon Monday 27 March, in our lovely new Brickfield Canvas premises.

Gregorio will not only highlight our beautiful Arts and Crafts sale items, which include the striking high back walnut chairs (Lot 41), the delicately crafted mahogany inlaid corner cabinet (Lot 42) and the unusual mahogany inlaid circular table (Lot 43), but he will also trace the significance of the Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau movements and their influence over the turn of the century.

Both movements were spurred on by the growing mechanization, serial production and “confusion of taste” which was seen to mark the later Victorian Era. They were inspired by a return to nature, excellence in craftmanship and a belief in creating a total encompassing environment, a “Gesamtkunstwerk”, that inspired and reflected the zeitgeist that would inform the Modern Age. Join us for some intriguing, pithy insights with our wonderful expert, Gregorio.

“Fine art is that in which the hand, the head, and the heart of man go together.”

John Ruskin, ‘The Cestus of Aglaia, the Queen of the Air’, 1870

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