Happy birthday, Francisco Amighetti

On this date in 1907, the Costa Rican artist Francisco Amighetti was born in San José.

I learned from the Annex Galleries website that unlike many of his contemporaries, he decided to work as an artist in Costa Rica despite the scarcity of opportunities here at the time. It paid off: his work eventually gained such renown that he was able to tour Europe, and he continued to work as an artist up to his death in 1998.

He produced watercolors and work in other media, but I love his woodcuts best, and found “Discord” this morning on the Galería Valanti site. How fitting for the present moment. As I gazed at it, distracted from the news for moment by my curiosity about what the heck is going on in the image, my resident art enthusiast passed behind me and observed that it was inspired by Botticelli’s “Calumny of Apelles.” Naked Truth and an array of vices and virtues play out their drama in both. In Amighetti’s, there’s a comforting glimpse of rolling Costa Rican countryside in one corner.

As a wise friend just said to me, discord can be a blessing. Here’s to discord that reveals, and to truth revealed. And to art that keeps us wondering long after the artist is gone.

I’m a writer in San José, Costa Rica, on a year-long quest to share daily posts on inspiring people, places and ideas from my adopted home as a kind of tonic during a rough time in the world. Sign up (top right of this page) to receive a little dose of inspiration every weekday in your mailbox; tell a friend; check out past posts; and please connect with me on Instagram or FacebookIf you want to learn more about how to support Costa Rica during the crisis, visit my COVID-19 section, updated regularly – or for ways to enjoy Costa Rica from afar, visit Virtual Costa Rica.

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