Sunday, April 20, 2014

Museo Pietro Annigoni in Villa Bardini, Florence

Close-up of "Rossella Segreto" by Pietro Annigoni, lithographia
Friday was extraordinary. Hope you’re not tired of my saying that.

I’ve found that the further you climb and pant uphill – the better the reward. Friday proved it as we bravely made the, maybe 60-degree, ascent straight to the clouds it seemed with the planned destination of Museo Pietro Annigoni in the Villa Bardini.  What a place.

We were there to see the Annigoni’s.  Pietro Annigoni is a favorite son of Florence. He’s not very well known outside these city limits– but he taught/influenced a ton of artists and sprouted a major resurgence of painting Ateliers, including the Florence Academy of Art and Angel Academy (also in Florence).

At one time he taught Nelson Shanks who founded Studio Incamminati in Philadelphia.  I can see glimpses of that influence.

I’m into stating favorites lately. This day it was clearly Annigoni’s “Rossella Segreto” – what looks like a charcoal drawing and is labeled “litografia.” Probably the same thing?

What I love about it – beyond EVERYTHING – is the refined nature of her face and fluidity, painterly style defining her hair. How gorgeous, powerful is that?

I know this will be a source of inspiration for works to come.  So often I paint when happening upon a live model – as in McLean’s  Saturday open life. This drawing will make me reach for a different material to try my hand some day soon.

After touring the museum, we headed to the gardens that had been winking at us from terraces and windows each floor up. The gardens are filled with pathways, sculptures, waterways that show off another form of artistry … all with the backdrop of this beautiful city.

An arbor covered with wisteria in full bloom was the “Kodak Moment” spot. Except, my camera battery was blinking empty … and my camera card was full … and the back-up camera card was snugly tucked away in the hotel room.

There’s a restaurant there – where we had a great plate of salad, charcuterie, cheeses on a loggia with our friends overlooking this ridiculously beautiful scene.

View from Villa Bardini, Florence. Copyright Jill Banks 2014
Each outing provides inspiration to discover more.   This is a place begging for a return visit.

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March 5 - December: Richeson75 Still Life and Floral 2014  Two of my paintings: "Honey Bunny" and "Garden Girl" were chosen as finalists in this online competition and exhibition. 75 total works were selected for this exhibition from entries/artists worldwide. See the exhibit at

April 5 - April 27: Fine Art Professionals of Northern Virginia at Delaplaine, Frederick, MD  Reception on Saturday, April 5, 3 to 5pm at the Delaplaine Art Center, 40 Carroll Street, Frederick, MD. On exhibit: "Main Street USA," "Tony" and "Ice Cold Lemonade."
May 3 & 4: Fairfax Fine Art Festival  I'll be under a tent in Fairfax Corners ... surrounded by artwork. Come visit/shop for original art. More details to come on my web site's Events page.
May 27-May 31: Mountain Maryland Plein Air I join 29 other artists juried from around the country to capture Cumberland MD and surrounding areas in this plein air competition and exhibition. Second time around.
May 31 & June 1: Fairfax Great Falls Studios Spring Outdoor Art Festival  Two days with my work under a tent in the Great Falls Village Centre, corner of Georgetown Pike and Walker Road,  Great Falls, VA. Husband Randy will hold down “the Fort” on Saturday while I finish up at Mountain Maryland and then I hope to see you on Sunday, June !!
Paint with Me in Italy: August 3 to 10, 2014.
For more info, itinerary and links to register, see the classes page on my web site. Great folks are signing up to join me on this wonderful adventure. I hope you can, too!

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