The Winged Lion of Saint Mark ( Saint Mark is the traditionally ascribed author of the Gospel of Mark. Mark is said to have founded the Church of Alexandria, one of the most important episcopal sees of Early Christianity. His feast day is celebrated on April 25, and his symbol is the winged lion.) Our literary lion holds the bible and is the symbol of the city of Venice and formely the Venetian Republic. I just love all the soft slightly amused lions we saw in Venice. I think the lion below would like to get off his stand and go for a stroll for once!
I really don’t know where to start, we have had such an amazing week, so full of fun, creativity and culture and endless places to paint. So I shall start with yesterday.
We ended our day with a gondola ride in Venice.
But not before we had posed for a photo with their many paintings. We had decided after the first day that paiinting in Venice was slightly too arduous, we walked for miles carrying all our materials and felt that our time would be better spent sketching and then painting at the villa.
From left to right my Venetian beauties. Karen, Michelle, Sue and Hisako. What a joy it has been for me to have these wonderful women on this trip.
On Thursday we spent the day in Padova. We sketched but we also went sight seeing. We visited the extra-ordinary Scrovegni Chapel. The walls covered from top to toe with frescoes by Giotti and his 44 helpers.
(The Scrovegni Chapel, a masterpiece in the history of painting in Italy and Europe in the 14th century, is considered to be the most complete series of frescoes executed by Giotto in his mature age.
Colour and light, poetry and pathos.
Man and God.
The sense of nature and history, humanity and faith are mingled in narrating the stories of the Virgin Mary and Christ in a unique way.
Giotto completed the frescoes in the Chapel at the beginning of 1305.
At that time: “…the chapel presents very simple architecture: a rectangular hall with a barrel vault, an elegant gothic triple lancet window on the façade, tall, narrow windows on the southern wall, and a polygonal apse, later raised to contain the belfry”.
The frescoes follow three main themes :episodes in the lives of Joachim and Anna (1-6), episodes in the Virgin Mary’s life (7-13),episodes recounting Christ’s life and death.
The lower parts of the walls contain a series of frescoes illustrating Vices and Virtues in allegory.)
We were all mesmerised by the beauty of the colours and the simplicity of the painting. They told us that Giotti was the first to bring perspective and emotion into frescoes. I am not too sure about this but it is a nice idea.
We had found a pretty garden to paint in whilst waiting for our tour of the chapel where we were not only given a free coffee offered by the town of Padova but we also ate a delicious picnic preapred for us by my niece Rosie.
We then went to Prato della Valle. It is a 90,000 square meter eliptical square which is possibly one of the largest in Europe. It is stunning.
We sat and sketched and enjoyed ice cream and wherever you look there is beauty.
The Basilica of Padova is breath takingly beautful. Ground breaking architecture. They started to build in 1232 and completed building in 1310. Thank you architects and builders is all I can say to leave these historic buildings for us to enjoy in 2018.
It is time for Rosie and I to clean out the fridge for early departure back to Provence in the morning so with this post and this photo of Rosie with the best Pavlova I have ever tasted. I will love you and leave you and will be back soon!