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February 5, 2010     Post-Gazette
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February 5, 2010

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I , Page2 POST-GAZETTE, FEBRUARY 5, 2010 by Prof. Edmund Nostra A weekly column highlighting some of the more interesting aspects of our ancestry.., our lineage.., our roots. MICHELANGELO No discussion on the Ital- ian Renaissance would be complete without including one of the greatest geniuses the world has ever produced. Few artists have matched the grandeur of his con- ceptions or the power of his creations. To know his life is to know the history of Italy's glory. Michelangelo diLodovico Buonarroti-Simoni, was born in Caprice, Tuscany, in 1475, at the height of the great Italian Renaissance. Today we know him simply as Michelangelo. Chiefly, he was known as a sculptor, and in this art he created some of the greatest masterpieces that this world has ever known. Additionally, he was a painter, and in this art also he created some of the greatest masterpieces that this world had ever known. He was also an architect, and in this art too he created some of the greatest mas- terpieces that this world has ever known. He was called upon to prepare a defense for his beloved city of Florence when it was under siege, and in this effort he designed one of the most effective defenses known up to that time. As proof that he was every bit as cultured as he was tal- ented, he also wrote poetry which is still being repub- lished today. History credits Michel- angelo with more than 50 great artistic creations. The most famous appear to be Pietgt of St. Peter's, the Sistine Chapel ceiling, the Sistine Chapel wall, and the dome of St. Peter's Basilica. The title Piet as we know is given to any representa- tion in painting or sculpture of the Virgin Mother griev- ing over the body of Jesus after the crucifixion. People seem to relate Michelangelo with only one Piet or La Pieta when in fact he sculp- tured four of them. At the age of 23 he did his first and most famous Piet which shows the Virgin Mother holding the dead Jesus across her lap. This work is now in the Basilica of St. Peter, in Rome. At the age of 73 he did a second Piett entitled "Deposition From The Cross" which shows Jesus being taken down from the cross. The Virgin Mother, Nicodemus, and Mary Magdalene are also shown in the composition. One year later he did the "Palestrina Pietfi" which also shows Jesus after having been removed from the cross. The Virgin Mother and Mary Magdalene are in this composition as well. Finally, at the age of 81 Michelangelo carved the "Rondanini Pietfi" which was his last piece sculpture before he died. It was purchased in 1952 by the Commune of Milan for the museum of the Siorz Castle, where it now stands. In 1508 Pope Julius II or- dered Michelangelo to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. This is the work where much of it was done while lying on his back. Here, he chose to present a condensed version of events recorded in the Book of Gen- esis. He painted 343 colos- sal figures on I0,000 square feet of ceiling, and at the age of thirty-three after four years of agonizing labor, cre- ated the most powerful piece of painting in the world. Twenty-four years later he returned to paint the titanic "Last Judgment" on the al- tar wall of the same chapel. This work shows sinners being condemned to Hell by Christ's furious judgment. It is one of the largest frescoe paintings ever executed and the most comprehensive in the world. Finally, as was mentioned in a previous issue, Michel- angelo was 72 years old when commanded by Pope Julius Ill to take over the position of Architect for the Basilica of St. Peter, then under con- struction. He was the eighth of about fourteen men who served in this capacity. Here, he served without com- pensation "For the love of God only." The design and construction of the central dome is attributed to him and once again he produced one of the greatest master- pieces of art. NEXT WEEK: Blame it on Your Roots JG BAFFO, LLC Certified Public Accountant INCOME TAX PREPARATION Individuals Businesses John G. Baffo, CPA Lewis Wharf, Bay 217, Boston, MA 02110 Tel.: 617.248.9500 Fax: 617.248.9511 E-mail: jb Serving the Italian Community Res Publica by David Trumbull Who Wants Scott Brown did it, can you? A Special Election has been called for May 11 th to fill the vacancy in the Massachu- setts Senate caused by the resignation of Democratic Senator Anthony D. Galluccio. The Primary Elec- tion, at which a Democrat and a Republican may be nominated, will be held on April 13 th. March 2 nd is the last day for submitting nomination papers. Any Republican seeking to run will need to submit nomination papers with at least 300 signatures of voters in the district -- Republicans and indepen- dents may sign for a Repub- lican. The district -- Middlesex, Suffolk and Essex Senate District -- is made up of the cities of Chelsea and Everett and parts of Boston, Cam- bridge, and Somerville. The district includes part of Re- vere, where Scott Brown to be the Next Repubfican Senator? won with 53% and Saugus where Republican Scott Brown had a big 63% victory. Here in Boston it in- cludes Charlestown, where Senator-Elect Brown got 48% of the vote (and carried sev- eral precincts) and some pre- cincts in Allston/Brighton. Following Scott Brown's victory last month, the Massachusetts Republican Party expects to be fielding vibrant Republican candi- dates to the Legislature in 2010. After all, the solutions to the problems on Beacon Hill are not new laws, but new lawmakers. "Democrat legislators in Massachusetts act as though they're entitled to elected office, but the voters have rejected one-party rule," said Nick Connors, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Republican Party. "Democrats should be on notice: Voters will hold the party in power account- able for irresponsible spend- ing, an out-of-touch agenda and unethical behavior." When a potential candi- date decides to run for elected office, the MassGOP provides assistance includ- ing candidate trainings, voter identification informa- tion, district information, message and campaign timeline development, in- cumbent voting records, as well as other opposition re- search. If you are interested in running I will get you in touch with the appropriate persons at the state party headquarters, contact me at david@trumbullofbos David Trumbull is the chairman of the Boston Ward Three Republican Committee. Boston's Ward Three includes the North End, West End, part of Beacon Hill, downtown, waterfront, Chinatown, and part of the South End. DINING OUT TO CONQUER DIABETES North End's restaurants joined together to support Joslin Diabetes Center's High Hopes Fund by hosting special five-course dinners with wine pairings. The High Hopes Fund supports Joslin's efforts to improve the lives of people with diabetes -- young and old -- and to prevent and cure the disease. Participating restaurants included: Terramia, Antico Forno, Lucca, Prezza, Tresca and Taranta. Shannon Allen (wife of Celtics player Ray Allen) shows off her pizza peel prowess to Carla Gomes at Antico Forno at a fund-raiser for the Joslin Diabetes Center. (Photo by Arthur Pollock) Sheriff Cabral Gives Address at INAUGURAL CITY YEAR LEGAL COMMUNITY BREAKFAST Sheriff Andrea J. Cabral Suffolk County Sheriff Andrea J. Cabral recently addressed a group of legal professionals about the importance of supporting civic engagement during the first annual City Year Legal Community Leadership Breakfast. Serving as the Keynote Speaker for the event, Sheriff Cabral joined a group of 275-plus attendees that included private practice lawyers, in-house counsel and other members of the legal community to help kick off City Year's new Legal Community Initiative. Created with the purpose of connecting the legal com- munity to City Year's full- time work in schools, the Legal Community Initiative (LCI) "will support In School & On Track, a national chal- lenge designed to help City Year reach the students who are at risk of dropping out of school in the 20 U.S. loca- tions where City Year's di- verse young leaders serve full-time as tutors, mentors and role models." Long a powerful advocate of City Year, Sheriff Cabral met the opportunity to speak on behalf of the organization and its programs with great enthusiasm. "I agreed to be the keynote speaker because I support everything City Year does," said Sheriff Cabral. "It's the most effective civic engage- ment/mentoring program in the country. Their work in schools across the coun- try significantly decreases truancy and dropping out. City Year Corps members keep kids in school, build their self-esteem and give them someone to look up to. Given where we are in this country on education, it doesn't get any more impor- tant than that." Echoing Sheriff Cabral's sentiments was William Benjamin, Partner at the Wilmer-Hale law firm and outside legal counsel to City Year. "This is the first time City Year has tried to in- crease awareness of City Year in the legal commu- nity," Benjamin said. "We're trying to put on a program that will appeal to lawyers and educate them about the important work City Year is doing. With City Year's help, we can keep kids in school through graduation and have fewer running into legal prob- lems requiring the attention of the Sheriffs Department." Following the conclusion of the inaugural event Chuck Gordon, Chief Development Officer of City Year, thanked Sheriff Cabral for not only helping to begin the new ini- tiative on a positive note, but for her enduring support of the organization as a whole. "Sheriff Cabral has been a long time supporter and a great fan of City Year," said Gordon. "She realizes that the work City Year does in schools helps keep children on track in order to gradu- ate, particularly during af- ter-school hours when chil- dren are most at risk for deviant behavior." "City Year is delighted to partner with Sheriff Cabral as we focus on the common mission for all children to succeed and become produc- tive citizens," continued Gordon. "I am grateful that Sheriff Cabral gave her sup- port to City Year as a guest speaker during our inaugu- ral Legal Community Lead- ership Breakfast."