Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Pitti Palace and the Lion Fountain

Easter Sunday in Italy
"Courtyard Garden," oil, approx. 8"h x 6"w, copyright Jill Banks 2014
Since the group’s rendezvous time was set for 12:45 in the lobby – breakfast was leisurely and I was able to get a painting of the hotel courtyard in before heading off for the Pitti Palace.

Even in this contained scene, the view in front of me changed – considerably – between contemplation/sketch to the moment of setting up to paint. So much so that my choice of subject moved right … to catch the sun’s patterns.

Although this morning’s efforts were done quickly, I’m happy with the results.

The Pitti Palace
This was Randy and my second visit to the Pitti Palace under the tutelage of Rob Liberace on his art historical trips.  What an amazing collection that improves with my age. The museum is divided into two parts -- the Gallery of Modern Art and the Palatino. Both are terrific ... and really different from one another.  

I found the greatest inspiration from the Gallery of Modern Art -- loving the portraits, the complex and interesting work by Antonio Mancini, and seeing Florence through more recent artists' eyes. My personal favorite piece was by Giorgio Belloni (1861-1945): "Stutilo" painted in 1941. (There were LOTS of runners up and a case full of small painting gems -- not to be missed.) I can't find a photo of that painting -- so again I pass the research onto you.

But here are two fantastic paintings from the collection whose photos I could find:
 John Singer Sargent: Ritratto di Ambrogio Raffaele, c. 1911, Olio su tela, cm 56 x 70, Firenze, Galleria d'Arte Moderna di Palazzo Pitti

Antonio Ciseri
Ecce Homo - Pilate presenting a scourged Jesus to the people of Jerusalem
1871, photo from the Gallery of Modern Art web site

 Antonio Ciseri's "Ecce Homo" was a show-stopper, with every inch of this huge canvas well-considered and painted. Phenomenal.

As the museum shut down, I still wanted to paint. Boboli Gardens were closed, but right outside the Pitti Palace is a fountain of a lion that attracts an awful lot of attention. So that was my subject until the light faded away.

"Fontana Del Leone," oil, 16"h x 12"w, copyright Jill Banks 2014
Ciao! Thanks for reading!


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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: 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 1!
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 http://richeson75.com/stilllife/index.html

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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