The Journal of Art and Design, Florence, January 26, 1867

Thursday 11th January, 2024 - Bruce Sterling

(machine translation)


«Entry is prohibited.» These words in very clear color are written on the door of all the Appendices of every newspaper, for anyone who sometimes feels it vague to express their opinion about art, which the critics entrenched there as in many fortresses, ruthlessly reject anyone who tries to enter in the earthly paradise of this literature of little effort, hence the useless sweat that some fathers of many articles made dragging their newborns from Via Faenza to Borgo S. Frediano, rejected by the Nation, by Law, by Opinion, by everyone.

Yet, who would have thought? These derelicts, when they least believed it, unexpectedly found protection and asylum, they found the means to recognize each other, to gather, to form a column and to march to the assault.

By appearing in the light today we are making an act of life, and by being born we are sure of living because the separate effort of some has been gathered into a common intent. We are a phalanx that rallies to bring together in the closed camp of our newspaper those who love the growth of art, to fight our reasons with courteous weapons, thus leaving the educated public and the distinguished garrison as judges.

Because the Management undertakes the commitment to print a leading article weekly, then biographies of dead or living artists, artistic news of all genres, such as competition programmes, openings of exhibitions, pamphlets, announcements, French, English and German correspondence and anything else that may be of interest artists and amateurs.

Mindful then of our principles and not wanting to return mistreatment for mistreatment, we open our arms to any controversy, offering to publish all those controversies that are sent to us; so in a noble gymnasium different kinds of arguments will be fought in such a way that it will not happen to our competitors that answers to unknown premises are read, nor to us that our premises remain without a known answer.

The articles will bear the name of their author at the bottom, so that what is Caesar’s may be given to Caesar, with what follows. We do not believe we have done anything useless by having founded a periodical that deals exclusively with the art of our country, which, lulling itself in relation to this as well as to many other things, in the sweet illusion of an immeasurable strength calmly expects to be to its great detriment and ashamed, shaken by the unkind kicks that foreigners are applying to him where it is nice to remain silent.

We do not believe it necessary to indulge in long and tedious expositions of principles now, since these will gradually unfold and be explained in the questions that will be dealt with subsequently, so the newspaper, practicing with the public and the public with the newspaper, will find a better way of more intimate knowledge.

Therefore we will say that our main policy will be to seek, as far as possible, practice and common sense, elements that we believe are sufficient for the resolution of any question, since nothing else sounds more modest than the immortal policy of experimentalism being the first to represent experience, like the second observation.

Disciples of Galileo, no matter how little fortune favors us, and even without it, we are sure that the movement will never fail us, nor do we fear torture and the inquisition. It is true that this security of ours against an imaginary danger may appear to be useless boldness; but it is well understood that as times and customs have changed, the phrase becomes metaphorical and means ungenerous mockery and less than benevolent insinuations.

In 1854 Doctor Giovanni Boschi and our friend Jacopo Cavallucci had the idea of creating a similar newspaper which, under their direction, found a favorable reception and prosperous success. We, who have drawn inspiration for ours from their efforts, did not want to remain silent about this worthy initiative.

The director