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June 2012

- The View over the Roman Forum -

The story that goes with this picture begins when I was at school; or rather it begins with my Latin book. In it there were photos of Roman monuments and ancient shrines and in the middle was a view of the Roman Forum. When my husband and I visited the Palazzo Senatorio in 2002 and climbed up to the archway at the back of a high window, suddenly the image that had been so familiar to me when I was a student was in front of me. The Forum Romanum, Rome’s great excavation site. This view was the initial spark that produced this picture.

I only had a very small box of paints with me – but despite this, it was wonderful to discover and capture everything spread before me with the paintbrush. An employee of the Palazzo appeared before me when I was in the middle of a brushstroke. “You’re not allowed to paint pictures here!” was what I understood, even without any Italian. “It’s not a picture, the paper is too small,” I argued with gestures and odd words. She looked critically at my paints and I also looked at my unfinished sketch. Just don’t throw me out yet! Eventually, she pulled out her mobile, spoke to whomever, explained the ‘picolino’ format of my picture and I got the go-ahead from them for it. I was incredibly relieved and enjoyed every brushstroke.

To cut a long story short: this picture only exists because the paper was small enough.

 

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