contains a painting by Alessandro Gherardini of the Assumption of the Virgin), carried out in 162 for the apartment of the grand duchess Vittoria della Rovere; a neo-classical cycle with scenes of Olympic Games; and grisailles with Stories of Hercules by Luigi Catani. S.C.
The Accademia della Crusca The Accademia della Crusca is one of the oldest academies still active in Europe and its roots can be traced to a group of Florentine scholars who, between 1570 and 1580, gathered to discuss, in convivial and even light-hearted meetings (called at that time “cruscate”), themes of literature and language. In 1582, the group of founders (Giovan Battista Deti, Anton Francesco Grazzini, Bernardo Canigiani, Bernardo Zanchini and Bastiano de’ Rossi) was joined by Lionardo Salviati, a distinguished philologist and language theorist. It was he who gave the Accademia a true program of research and who also established its symbology, based on the idea that good language must be like flour from which the bran has been removed. From here, the emblem of the “frullone”, or sifter, a machine that, at the time, represented a great technological innovation. The institution took on a verse from Petrarch as its motto – “il più bel fior ne coglie” (namely, “she gathers the fairest flower”) – and adopted a rich symbology that referred entirely to wheat, flour and bread. Over the centuries, the Accademia has had more than 1200 Italian and foreign members, including Galilei, Redi, Muratori, Voltaire, Grand Dukes Pietro Leopoldo and Leopoldo ii of Tuscany, Metastasio, Manzoni, Capponi, Leopardi, Tommaseo, As-
coli, Carducci, De Amicis, D’Annunzio, Barbi and Luzi. Currently the Accademia has 49 academicians between ordinary, emeritus, Italian correspondent and foreign correspondent members. The academicians’ main undertaking was the Vocabolario, published in five editions between 1612 and 1923. The work decisively contributed to the codification and spread of the Italian language and was the first example of a modern dictionary in Europe. The lexicographical activity, interrupted in 1923, was resumed in the 1960s, to be then entrusted in 1985 to the Opera del Vocabolario Italiano, a cnr Institute, which has its seat at the Accademia. The Tesoro della Lingua Italiana delle Origini (tlio), is currently being compiled; a historical dictionary of the Italian language, it can be found on-line at www.vocabolario.org. Today the Accademia della Crusca is the most important academic research centre dedicated to the study and promotion of Italian. Its primary objective is to make available and spread historical knowledge of the Italian language and a critical awareness of its current evolution in the framework of interlinguistic exchanges in the contemporary world, both in Italian society, especially the schools, as well as abroad. According to a tradition established over the decades, the Accademia della Crusca believes in the fundamental importance of maintaining a constant relationship with schools that can act as a link between research and education. In the last few years, this activity, already underway with the periodical “La Crusca per Voi”, has been further structured, finding valuable support in the Ministry of Public Education and in the Tuscan Regional Office for Education. For the Ministry of Public Education, the Accademia has english version
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