Farewell to art historian Maddalena Winspeare, founder of Sillabe publishing house


Art historian Maddalena Winspeare, founder of the Sillabe publishing house, has passed away in Livorno, Italy, at age 57.

Maddalena Winspeare, an art historian, passed away last April 24 in Livorno, at the age of only 57 and on her birthday, following a serious illness she contracted a year ago. Winspeare was known not only for her contributions on nineteenth-century Tuscan art but also because she was the founder in Livorno of the Sillabe publishing house, one of Italy’s best in the field of art publications. Born in Livorno on April 24, 1964, to a family of ancient English nobility with a branch that later moved to Italy as early as the 18th century, Winspeare was recognized for her culture, professionalism, and entrepreneurial insights that have led Sillabe to carve out a prestigious space in art publishing and to collaborate with several of the world’s most important museums.

As an art historian, Maddalena Winspeare had graduated from the University of Pisa with Raffaele Monti and was a specialist in the art of the Macchiaioli and post-Macchiaioli painters. She has authored several publications on the art of Giovanni Fattori (including the guide Giovanni Fattori al Museo Civico di Livorno: in fact, Winspeare was also a historical collaborator of the Municipality of Livorno, together with which she produced the official catalog of the Museo Civico Giovanni Fattori, published in 1994 on the occasion of the museum’s refurbishment, as well as the important volume on the nineteenth-century works preserved in the museum), and also several books on art dedicated to children. Recently, Sillabe had also made collaborative agreements with the Goldoni Theater and the Livorno Aquarium, managing the latter’s bookshop (the same publishing house, moreover, also manages the Genoa Aquarium’s store). That of gadgets was an area on which Winspeare’s publishing house bet a lot (she herself was often personally involved in the creation of the postcards for sale in the bookshops run by the house). Sillabe was also among the main promoters and supporters of the Combat Prize for contemporary art.

Maddalena Winspeare leaves behind her husband and 16-year-old daughter. There have been many messages of closeness from the world of culture and institutions, first and foremost the City of Livorno, which mourns “the loss of a person and a cultural animator whom the city of Livorno will deeply miss.”

In the photo: Maddalena Winspeare

Farewell to art historian Maddalena Winspeare, founder of Sillabe publishing house
Farewell to art historian Maddalena Winspeare, founder of Sillabe publishing house


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