A journey, through aesthetic education,
to understand the story and the concept of the luxury

"Luxus – Amazing Beauty" explores this idea of luxury through an eclectic collection of objects aimed to show – through aesthetic education – how luxury has accompanied beauty in western culture as it constantly and brilliantly intertwined with eastern culture.

A vital relationship between ancient and modern, tradition and innovation, that made it possible to showcase luxury objects in original and evocative sets that enhance the creativity of the artists who created them.

The "Teatro alla Scala Foundation", "Il Vittoriale degli Italiani Foundation" and the "Gualtiero Marchesi Foundation", have actively collaborated to the event.

  • La Stanza dell'Ingresso

    La Stanza dell'Ingresso

  • La Stanza del Palazzo

    La Stanza del Palazzo

  • La Stanza del Tesoro

    La Stanza del Tesoro

  • La Stanza dello Spazio-Tempo

    La Stanza dello Spazio-Tempo

  • La Stanza della Vanità

    La Stanza della Vanità

  • La Stanza della Luce

    La Stanza della Luce

  • La Stanza del Giardino Segreto

    La Stanza del Giardino Segreto

  • La Stanza della Maschera

    La Stanza della Maschera

  • La Stanza della Giostra

    La Stanza della Giostra

  • Sala Lux Luxus Luxuria

    Sala Lux Luxus Luxuria

A DEFINITION OF "LUXURY"

Luxury shows the precious meaning of beauty and reflects our desire to live a life full of it; we can understand what luxury is thanks to aesthetic education. Luxury is related to experiences and feelings that shape man’s individual identity and that rely heavily on art. The same way there are no specific execution techniques that can define the qualities of art, there are no absolute rules that can classify objects into categories of luxury and non-luxury. This demonstrates how, when trying to understand what luxury is, one cannot avoid being influenced by relationships between his individual traits – sensitivity, culture and, in short, personality – and what gravitates around him, from house and furnishings to hobbies and friendships. Personality, that existential quality upon which relationships between man and objects rely, is pivotal to fully understand the manifold meanings of luxury.

People surround themselves with awful things believing they are beautiful only because they do not have the slightest idea of what beautiful really means; likewise, they believe they are living in luxury only because they surround themselves with expensive objects; the most immediate consequence of such false beliefs is to appear grotesque while being convinced to be glamourous.

MORALI DILEMMAS ON LUXURY

Too often moralism easily dismisses luxury as if it wanted to protect reason from conceptual complexities and ethics from awkward questions. Therefore, the right place to understand the theoretical and ethical meanings of luxury is aesthetics.

According to aesthetics, value depends upon originality, invention and creativity, rather than upon banality and mediocrity. The idea of luxury itself pursues excellence by moving beyond what is “normal” and obvious, and draws a clear distinction between ordinariness and absolute beauty.

Quite paradoxically, it is only when one tries to include luxury among the useless and unnecessary things of life that he understands that luxury has always represented a sort of research – sometimes a mere desire – to change, even overturn the conventions and habits of everyday life, in an effort to give it a non-conventional meaning.

Actually, luxury has always been present in human history. Luxury turns matter into symbol and attaches unique and extraordinary value to totally unnecessary things, enhancing life with – sometimes deceiving – dreams of beauty, eternity and pleasure. Perhaps this is just a spell that allows beauty, style, and good taste live free – though for a short time – and that defends their right to be inconsequential in the world.

The Curator

Stefano Zecchi Stefano Zecchi
Italian writer, journalist and academic. Former professor of Philosophy and Aesthetics at University of Milan and former Culture Councillor of the Municipality of Milan from 2005 to 2006.

Art Director

Beatrice Mosca Beatrice Mosca

THE NEW RENAISSANCE

One day the Master said: “I will tell you the story of this amazing beauty”. The Pupil answered: “Why are you talking under your breath?” And the Master replied: “Because Master artisans hand down the secrets of their craft to their sons only, in order to prevent other people from learning the alchemy of their art and the secrets to create one-of-a-kind, unique objects.”

In this sense Luxury is considered as a refined and unique web of craftsmanship and design, Identity, attachment to Territory, Tradition, Innovation, Quality and artisan Knowledge.

The “Luxus – Amazing Beauty” exhibition unfolds in front of the observer’s eyes as the tale of an idea of, and of a historical perspective on, Luxury and Aesthetic Education. Visitors are surrounded by an original “theatrical” setting that, although seeming quite unusual for a museum exhibition, is endowed with all the harmony and precision necessary to display the excellent creations of those contemporary artisans whose identity and originality are rooted in the “alchemy” of Renaissance workshops, where the figures of artisan and artist were closely connected. Mirabilia. The term “Renaissance” refers to a miracle, to that new awareness marked by enthusiasm, optimism and pride that involved the citizens of Italian courts in the early XVI century and that brought about an artistic and cultural fervour that was unprecedented

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