Monday, June 8, 2015

Inspiration from Roman Frescoes

Since returning from Italy, people have asked if I was inspired to make art as a result of the trip. You would think that the answer would be simple, but it isn't. Although I took a sketchbook, our visit was spent seeing as much as we could see in the limited time that we had. So, my answer is this: I was awed by the artwork that I was able to see. The sculptures and paintings were magnificent. However, what inspired me as an artist were the frescoes. There were frescoes to be seen all over Italy, but I was particularly thrilled with the Roman era examples.

Perhaps the most inspiring fresco to me was in the National Roman Museum. In fact, I was surprised how much I enjoyed our time there. The museum is off the beaten track, air conditioned, and not mobbed with people; a trifecta that is rare in crowded Rome. The inspiring fresco that we enjoyed is the oldest example of a continuous garden painting. The work is dated from 30-32 BC.  Being in the room with these wall paintings, I could imagine the sounds of birds and running water. Artistically, the textures present in the preserved work moved me beyond words. Who knows whether something so ancient will find a way visually into my present-day work? Here are some images:

Frescoes of Villa of Livia which span an entire room 

Close up detail of the fresco shows that magnificent texture

Fresco showing the Acanthus plant which was the inspiration for corinthian columns

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