Like many artists, Milan-based director Rino Stefano Tagliafierro’s steals art to make art in his animated short film Beauty, but he does so perhaps like no other before him. The film builds a story of love, passion and evil by animating more than 100 paintings from Asher Brown Durand’s The Catskill Valley to Caspar David Friedrich’s Abtei im eichwald. While the animation itself is largely contributed by Tagliafierro himself, Enrico Ascoli adds a third dimension to the film with a lush musical soundscape.

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Beauty’s manifesto, written by historian Giuliano Corti:

“Over Beauty, there has always hung the cloud of destiny and all-devouring time.
Beauty has been invoked, re-figured and described since antiquity as a fleeting moment of happiness and the inexhaustible fullness of life, doomed from the start to a redemptive yet tragic end.

In this interpretation by Rino Stefano Tagliafierro, this beauty is brought back to the expressive force of gestures that he springs from the immobility of canvas, animating a sentiment lost to the fixedness masterpieces.

Its as though these images which the history of art has consigned to us as frozen movement can today come back to life thanks to the fire of digital invention.

A series of well selected images from the tradition of pictorial beauty are appropriated, (from the renaissance to the symbolism of the late 1800s, through Mannerism, Pastoralism, Romanticism and Neo-classicism) with the intention of retracing the sentiment beneath the veil of appearance.

An inspiration that returns to us the sense of one fallen, and the existential brevity that the author interprets as tragic dignity, with an unenchanted eye able to capture the profoundest sense of the image.
Beauty in this interpretation is the silent companion of Life , inexorably leading from the smile of the baby, through erotic ecstasies to the grimaces of pain that close a cycle destined to repeat ad infinitum.

They are, from the inception of a romantic sunrise in which big black birds fly to the final sunset beyond gothic ruins that complete the piece, a work of fleeting time.”