Friday, October 24, 2008

Good news - I'm being republished...Stampington Publication.

I just heard from Stampington that they will be republishing my article from 2006 in the upcoming Stampington Publication called Artist's Cafe, Volume II. The magazine is coming out December 1, 2009

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Santa Maria del Popolo - Rome

Here are John's photos of the Caravaggio's from Santa Maria del Popolo, in Piazza del Popolo, a Renaissance church in Rome which has a chapel that features Caravaggio's Martrydom of St. Peter and Conversion of St. Paul.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Mosaics in Rome

Robyn of Art Propelled has a wonderful post called SCAT CAT and she's gathered a wonderful collection of artistic cats - including a wonderful Mosaic Cat from Pompeii that she put in for me. I didn't see that particular mosaic in Pompeii, but I did see many. Here are a few photos of mosaics, including one with my shadow from Ostia Antiqua - I'm waving at you!

The photo of the eagle, rabbit and tree mosaic is from the Vatican's collection.

From the Vatican's collection.

From Ostia Antiqua

I think this one was from the Vatican's collection too. We walked over these. It felt like we shouldn't walk over them, but they were fulfilling their true use as floor decorations. I admit it - it was thrilling to walk on them.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Etruscan necropolises at Tarquinia

On the left you can see The National Museum of Tarquinia (Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Tarquinia) in a 15th century Palazzo. It has an excellent collection of Etruscan and Greek art.

Inside the museum are many Etruscan Tombs.

This tomb was set up so you can see it's 3 sides together.

In a second story courtyard we saw these beautiful terra cotta tombs. We had been to this museum on a visit 8 years ago and these tombs were new. They all seemed to have a split down the middle of them.

Just inside the arm resting underneath this figure you could see a hole - it appears that parts of the terra cotta are hollow.

The Necropolis is a short walk from the city of Tarquinia. The covers guard against moisture, and once inside these little huts, down a set of 20 or 30 steps you come to an opening where you can view the interiors of the tombs. The modern door to the tomb had half a glass opening and nearby is a light switch to turn on the light to view the tomb.

Here I am at the bottom of the stairwell with the door to the tomb behind me. Below you see one of the nifty signs warning you not to bump your head at the bottom.

They weren't kidding - it was a tight fit at the bottom of many of these tombs. We must have explored about 15 of the tombs - that's a lot of stairs to climb!

Here's a view inside one of the tombs. The paintings are incredible. Inside, with the help of the artificial light, the paintings and interiors seemed to glow. A glimpse into the underworld. The tombs are a little 'house' shaped hollow carved out as a final resting place.

Down and up into such a beautiful day. The contrast was breathtaking.

It took a bit of courage to go down the path to the tomb opening above.

The tombs and paintings (two above and two below) were open by appointment only. We took the tour of four newly opened tombs - this one had some of the terra cotta tombs inside. You could see that the necropolis had been used by a family for generations by the different coffin styles - from the early rough limestone tombs, to the more realistic terra cotta style.

More photos showing the contrast of the glorius day and the dark tombs.

A photo of two people who were on the special tour with us. You can see how tight the view into the tombs was. It was a squeeze for two people to view at the same time.

On the left of this photo is our bus stop. We spent an entire day in Tarquinia and as we waited for the bus the sunlight turned that awesome Italian color and the pigeons started to roost in the building behind us. It was an entirely delightful and interesting day.

Here are some links if you are interested in reading a bit about Tarquinia.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Pompeii - and the Villa of the Mysteries

Pompeii is one of those places on earth that has ghosts. You feel the past lingering on in so many ways. It's more than knowing that Vesuvius erupted in Aug of 79AD. Partially it's knowing that the city was encased in ash and somewhat preserved. Some of the feeling comes from seeing the casts of the people who were frozen in their deaths in ash. I think it's more, though, a sense of space and time that cross in some way to encourage a mystical feeling in the visitor. I would love to return to Pompeii.

The chariot ruts are clearly visable on the streets.

A crumbling relief visible in the baths.

The costly cinnabar pigment in the frescoes is still rich looking at the Villa of the Mysteries.

This poor man was frozen in the ash, then cast. He is now encased in glass in a courtyard along with another figure.