Paintings Inspired by Italy
Italy is on our mind and in my heart – we love everything about Italy. Penny and I have visited Italy several times and each time we have been inspired by the warmth of the people, the art, the food, the natural beauty, the man-made beauty, the lyrical language…Everything! I have painted several paintings inspired by visits to Florence, Rome, and the Chianti region.
Some of the paintings, primarily the still lifes, explain themselves. However, there are a few that beg for some back story.
The Letter is an Italian fantasy, and like most of my figurative paintings, there is just a hint of a story that you get to complete. Painted for the show New Romantic Figure it is a composite of several scenes from a visit to Italy. A young woman sits on the stone work in the Piazza della Signoria in Florence. Althoughher pose and lovely dress and sandals – which were great fun to paint – were from a real person, her face was from my imagination. The roses are from a town in Chianti, while the countryside is a view from Montepulciano.
On a very hot day in Florence we took a short rest in the shade near the doors of the Ospedale degli Innocenti. This like-minded gentleman was sleeping behind us. He fascinated me. Maybe because of his worn jeans, I thought he was a vagrant. But I also felt a kinship with him. His shirt was fresh, clean, and pressed and he was wearing the exact same shoes that I had on my feet.
After we cooled down we continued exploring Florence. We didn’t expect to see our sleepy friend again.
A few days later, we met him again not far from the Ponte Vecchio. There he was, still in the same shoes I was wearing. As it turned out he was a fellow artist, drawing the scene on the old bridge. I found out later he was a relatively well known local character. Here he is. Hard at work in The Artist.
In the Shadow of the Pantheon
The Pantheon is one of the oldest buildings from ancient Rome. It has been in continuous use since its dedication by Emperor Hadrian in 126 AD. A breathtaking coffered dome, with a 145ft. diameter central opening (the Occulus), the Pantheon still has the largest unreinforced concrete dome in the world. Standing in the shadow on this magnificent structure was this proud Roman. Standing next to his horse-drawn carriage, he waits for his next fare, while posing to catch the attention of all the beautiful young women who congregate in the cafes that surround the plaza. Rome has so much romance. What artist wouldn’t create paintings inspired by Italy?