Travels in Italy with the teenage Mozart

Between the ages of 13 and 17, Mozart made three trips to Italy, spending some two-and- a-half years in ‘the country at the heart of the opera world’. He would never return as an adult. His mature Italian operas – The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, Così fan tutte, La Clemenza di Tito – can be traced directly back to these formative teenage encounters and experiences in Bologna, Venice, Rome, Florence and Naples. So argues Jane Glover in Mozart in Italy. A follow-up to 2005’s Mozart’s Women, the book is a lively account of journeys which the composer shared (mostly) with his father Leopold. What dominates initially is the business

Exceptional career woman, unexceptional painter: Lavinia Fontana, at the National Gallery of Ireland, reviewed

Reviewing the Prado’s joint exhibition of Sofonisba Anguissola and Lavinia Fontana in the Art Newspaper three years ago, Brian Allen pronounced it well worth seeing but predicted that each of these pioneering 16th-century women artists ‘would wither in the spotlight of her own retrospective’. Was he right? In its new monographic exhibition devoted to Fontana, the National Gallery of Ireland puts his waspish prediction to the test. Her ‘Galatea and Cherubs’ and ‘Venus and Mars’ are believed to be the first nudes painted by a woman Ireland’s National Gallery was an early investor in Fontana, acquiring her most ambitious work, ‘The Visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon’