“On Sunday 10 October 1813, Luigia Uttini gave birth to a long-awaited baby boy, born after nine years of marriage with her husband, Carlo Verdi. The baby was born in their tavern-apothecary shop in Roncole near Busseto, about thirty kilometres from Parma, in the area of French occupation (the Département du Taro). The baby was named Joseph-Fortunin-François, but despite these French names he was always called Giuseppe Verdi, and was to prove a determined Italian. It was wartime. The French and Austrians were following on each other’s heels, taking control of the government one after the other. Eventually, the Austrians came out on top and started preparing for the arrival of their new, august sovereign, Maria Luigia (Marie-Louise) Habsburg, the wife of Napoleon. A memorial stone in the church at Roncole recalls how the other Luigia, Verdi’s mother, took refuge there with her little ‘Beppino’, then only a few months old, in her arms; the baby went on to survive war, epidemics (although not on such a scale as in Bologna) and the spectre of famine. But he benefited from the period of peace which followed, in the duchy of Parma, Piacenza and Guastalla, restored under the Austrian dominion” (from Gustavo Marchesi’s text).
An introduction to the life of the artist, richly illustrated in colour.
A study of the most significative works, a selected bibliography and an essential discography.