Longari arte Milano counts on the experience of two traditions. On one hand, passion and competence, embodied in the figure of the founder Nella Longari, are a family legacy: since the 1950s, the curiosity that has stimulated the search for unique works of art, their care, their restoration, has enriched the Gallery with original pieces, expression of a refined and unconventional taste. On the other hand, presence at major trade fairs in Italy and abroad. Continuously stimulating dialogue with the collecting public, especially by entering the world of international exhibitions after 2010 with particular attention to TEFAF Maastricht, has cultivated a new and ever-greater sensitivity for the selection of objects capable of capturing the interest of an audience that is more and more addicted to the presentation of high-quality options, prepared by the best antique dealers in the world.

Exploration is the first step in the working method of LONGARI arte MILANO

Discovery always happens firsthand, a little by instinct, a little by profession: decades of experience refine a kind of magnetism oriented towards beauty, like the one that attracts sunflowers towards the light. The work is displayed at the moment of its discovery, in its raw state, often buried under the encrustation of the centuries, transformed by the changes of hands, by the mutations of the intended uses, masked by the sediments that are superimposed on the livery with which the original creator had delivered it to the world. The objective of the subsequent phases of the working method is to restore the primitive form of the object to the eye and tactile experience of the public, restoring it as faithfully as possible.
Restoration is a long and delicate phase. The past comes back a little at a time, through trial and error practiced with delicacy: it is recalled like the memories that are intertwined one at a time, with a patient excavation into the memory. The investigation of what has lain asleep under the metamorphosis of time requires devotion, diligence, scruple – perhaps even meekness and emotion. It is necessary to ask the patina of color if the hand that spread it is the same one that modeled the first version of the work or if it intervened to modify it, to distort its meaning. It is necessary to question the subject to reconstruct its true identity, to bring to light its symbolic meanings, its original properties. Often it takes months to obtain all the useful answers, and to make them visible in the shapes, materials, and chromatic reflections of the work.

The good antiquarian must have the aesthetic sensibility of the artist and the patience of a bibliophile

The object is ready to meet the public only after this dialogue with time. A part of the excavation work in history does not only concern the interaction with the materials that make up the object, but also the genealogy of the patrons, the assignments, the changes of hands, the forgetfulness, the inheritances. The history of the owners is an aesthetic attribute of the work, it is an invisible power of its expressive charge. In any case, it is also the documentary proof of its authenticity, which today substantially qualifies the originality and interest in the object. The direct examination of the work and the simultaneous analysis of the documentary sources wisely and lovingly conducted by art critics guarantee the value not only of everything that is exhibited at the exhibitions, but also of everything that is offered in the Galleries.
For this reason, the antiquarian’s competence adds to the taste for beauty and the talent of the archaeologist, even the patience of the bibliophile. A profession that is becoming more and more complex, more and more profound, more and more exciting.