Valentina Motta from the Strait of Messina to Verona between Antonello, poetry and classicism


By John

From the Strait to Verona, with Messina always in my heart, between Antonello, classicism, poetry, the intertwining of art and literature of yesterday and today. It’s the story of Valentina Mottaart historian, teacher, poet, essayist from Messina active in the city of Juliet, increasingly established in the literary field and in the rediscovery of classicism, with significant recognitions, including the first prize at the international prize “Città di Sarzana” 2022 for essay writing with the monograph “Narciso, narcisi, narcisismo. Myth, Art, Literature”.

With “Medea illustrated. From the tragedy of Euripides to the syndrome of Medea between Art, myth and literature” won the national literary prize “Equilibri”. With another essay, “Antigone illustrata”, he received an honorable mention at the prestigious international literary award “Premio Firenze 2019”, and with “Alcesti illustrata” he obtained the special critics prize in honor of Duccia Camiciotti at the international award ” Blue Lily” of Florence. Awards that reward the passionate research in the field of mythology and classicism linked to the feminine, with psychoanalytic, literary and artistic interweaving of great modernity and originality.

Messina, the emotional background always remains: «The Strait, the profile of Calabria seen from viale della Libertà, the large terrace overlooking the sea, which allowed a broad view of the horizon, the entrance to the elegant building where we lived, distant yet very clear memories», notes Motta , recalling those “special places” of childhood, the scent of butter sandwiches, the arancini from the ferries, “the bright colors of the fruit of the granitas”, the love for the sea, the Madonnina of the port. And then the great Antonello da Messina, rediscovered at the 2006 Roman exhibition, who is never missing from his school lessons cycle: «Antonello da Messina remains one of the artists I treat more willingly in class, and it doesn’t surprise me to find even in my students a similar love towards a painter who, in my opinion, has nothing to envy to a Raphael or a Leonardo da Vinci. Maria’s sweetness and humanity in the “L’Annunziata” have no equal in the history of art”, observes the art historian, who hopes for a greater diffusion of knowledge of the great artist from Messina and his “complex and mysterious” paintings ”, as well as “sophisticated and elegant”, even beyond the Strait.

One of his greatest wishes is to be able to enhance the figure of his grandfather, who the people of Messina know by reputation, the great organist of the Cathedral of Messina Alessandro Gasparini, died in 1983, founder of the Accademia Musicale di S. Cecilia and of the “Perosiana” choir, a point of reference for the musical world of Pelorita after the Second World War.

Graduated in Art History at the Sapienza University of Rome and in Greek Philology at the University of Verona, Valentina Motta obtained her PhD at the Sapienza University in Tools and methods for the history of art, specializing in sectors such as the protection and enhancement of the Italian historical-artistic heritage in the tourist sense. You curated the exhibition “Muses, Metamorphossis and Medea” by American artist Marie Hines Cowan at the New Rochelle Art Gallery in New York. For years you have continued your commitment also in the social field, with particular attention to issues related to the fight against violence against women. Engaged in the field of popularisation and essay writing, she collaborates with the cultural magazine “Verbum Press” directed by Roberto Sciarrone and has written essays on food in the visual arts, medical art, cinema, the myth of Michelangelo. You boast collaborations with Rai Utile and with the Polo Museale of Rome.