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Why? | ARTin

Three years ago on a November afternoon in Venice when it was already dark outside, an art historian friend brought us to see the last painting by Tintoretto in the sacristy of the San Giorgio Maggiore church.

The great painter’s spiritual last will and testament, a moving Pietà, seemed to hint at his coming death. Our friend described the work and the history behind it so beautifully and with such emotional power that we saw it through fresh eyes in a way we never would have before that day. And we certainly would not have traveled to Palladio’s church on San Giorgio island on that dark afternoon without her prompting.

Later that day, we began to think about uniting the passion for technology with the knowledge that art historians have to offer. We thought the two things combined could open a new way for people to access and enjoy the beauty of Italy.

That was the spark that inspired our team to make a smartphone into a kind of Aladdin’s lamp that anyone can use to summon an art critic, a historian, or an architect to explain the marvels of our incredible city of art.
The name of the company we created to build Artin is Manuzio — an homage to the great Renaissance-era publisher Aldus Manutius, who had his printing presses in Venice. We hope to help digital publishing make a great leap forward, just as he revolutionized paper publishing in the 1500s.

Manutius’s logo was an anchor and a dolphin. That symbol was copied from a Roman coin he’d received from Pietro Bembo, and it was a symbol that stood for the Latin phrase Festina lente, or “make haste slowly”. Never has there been a more appropriate slogan for our app, the genesis of which represents more than three years of hard work.

 

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