Style Court

Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes 2006-2016


Stealing Beauty

[Click to enlarge. Unless credited otherwise, all images are my screengrabs from Bernardo Bertolucci's Stealing Beauty and Villa di Geggiano's video.]
[Liv Tyler in SB Via ifureadmymind tumblr.]

It's 1996.  In Bernardo Bertolucci's gorgeous summer flick, Stealing Beauty, Lucy (Liv Tyler) is wearing floral prints -- some like we're wearing again right now -- but she's listening to music on cassettes not an iPod. Really great music, actually.

The background tunes in the lives of the entire crowd staying in Tuscany encompass Liz Phair, Mozart, Billie Holiday, Sam Phillips, Stevie Wonder, John Lee Hooker, Chet Baker and Roland Gift. Unfortunately, Gift's Say it Ain't So wasn't included on the soundtrack released in stores (when we still had the brick and mortar variety), and the song remains elusive. But you can find a complete list of tracks here, if you want to pick other favorites and do your own nostalgic mix for summer '13. 

If you find yourself in Tuscany, you can also visit the Donati's house and sprawling gardens (14th-century Villa di Geggiano, home of the Bianchi Bandinelli family, in real life). Several of the movie's pivotal events take place here, including the Donati's annual bash.  

Design features highlighted by director Bertolucci are the green exterior shutters and long frescoed entrance gallery painted with bucolic scenes by Austrian artist Ignazio Moder, roughly 200 years before the film, in the 1790s. While the villa's origins go back to the Italian Renaissance, the style of decoration preserved there today is predominantly 18th-century. Examples of rooms not seen in the movie -- specifically period bedrooms -- can be found here and here. Background on Italian frescos of the era here.

Prefer the more modest restored hay barn of fictional contemporary artist Ian and his wife Diana? Check out Caroline Clifton-Mogg's Italian Country Living. It's filled with wonderfully rustic rooms.

Loosely related past posts:

[Photo by Horst]

In Bloom
Dramatic Color 


Anonymous said...

Caroline Clifton-Mogg keeps on giving! :-)) J

Style Court said...

Jacqueline -- absolutely!

Sarah said...

I have not seen this beauty, though it is now a must-see. The Italian countryside is gorgeous (stating the obvious here!). Thank you for sharing! Happy Memorial Day! ;-)

Style Court said...

Sarah -- hope you like it. Tons of inspiration.

Jeanne Henriques said...

Such a great movie..thanks for the reminder. Would love to see it again. Love Tuscany... I have to admit that if I had to choose between France and Italy..I would choose Italy...and could happily lose myself there for a good length of time. Have you read Vanilla Beans and Brodo by Isabella Duci? A charming story. Thank you for the memory of Tuscany this fine morning in Saigon. :)

Style Court said...

Jeanne -- the film is fun to revisit at least once a summer. Haven't read the Duci story but thanks for the tip :)

Enjoying your dispatches from Saigon, btw.

ArchitectDesign™ said...

I've never seen this movie, I must add to my netflix queue!

Style Court said...

Stefan a 90s staple! You'll enjoy the architecture and gardens, I'm sure.