I’ve written previously of my affection for Italy’s magnificent beauty, its architecture, and the amazing contribution they have made to the world as artists andas designers of beautiful, useful products. (To read that article, click HERE).
I think it’s impossible to go to Italy and not be impressed with the architecture. What you see in Italy today has been learned and passed down from the ancients.
The Greeks perfected the column and established a formal, idealized standard/order of beauty. They considered their buildings, the significant ones, as sculpture…intensely geometric and structural. Site planning and movement of light, over, around, and through structures received uppermost consideration.
The amazing self supporting arch
Following the Greeks, the conquering Romans absorbed some of the Greeks art and culture. The Romans were the first to fully realize the potential of arches for bridge construction. The arch became an ingenious way of spanning a void by making stones support one another through their mutual compression. The arch lead to the vault and cross vault, making it possible to create expansive interiors unencumbered by columns.
St. Peter’s Basilica (1506-1621)
The Renaissance (1400-1600′s) was a rebirth, a revival of the classical vocabulary and style of these ancient cultures. Symmetry, proportion, geometry, order, the use of semicircular arches, and hemispherical domes became the norm.
All of these influences contribute to the architectural beauty of Lake Como. So, it’s with a tip of my Italian made hat that I once again display my latest painting, “Coastline Dwellings” (now shown with its beautiful frame).
John Pototschnik – “Coastline Dwellings” – 20″x 20″ – Oil/Canvas
(Click HERE for availability)
With the Alpine mountains as a backdrop. the lower regions covered in dense foliage descending toward Lake Como, the deepest lake in Europe…all this provides an idyllic setting for some of the most incredibly stunning villas in all Italy.
Lake Como is only 25 miles north of Milan and just a few minutes from the Swiss border. Many of the amazing villas on the lake were built in the 17-19th centuries. My particular favorite is the Villa del Balbianello in Lenno. It was created by Cardinal Durini in the 18th century. (Hmm, I wonder where he got the money? Sorry, I couldn’t help myself). Today it is considered one of the most beautiful and romantic villas on the lake.
Many of these larger, spectacular villas are now owned by the State or an International Organization.
Not far from Lenno is Azzano. It is in the area called Giulino that Benito Mussolini and his mistress Claretta Petacci were shot to death in 1945.
Howard Friedland – “Lake Como Villa” – 12″x 16″ – Oil/Canvas
I would like to introduce you to an incredibly talented artist, Howard Friedland. I first saw the painting, shown above, at this year’s Salon International, hosted by the Greenhouse Gallery of Fine Art in San Antonio, TX. It was selected as one of the Jury’s Top 50 paintings. In 2008, Howard won “Best of Show” at the Oil Painters of America National Juried Show…a difficult achievement to say the least. His credentials are pretty impressive.
He was born in the Bronx, New York and currently lives with his artist wife, Susan Blackwood, in Bozeman, MT.
“Some painters prefer to render a picture tightly to a literal level of finish. However, I prefer to paint only enough for the viewer to get a clear vision of what the subject is and suggest the rest. When the painting is viewed close up you can see the many colorful brush strokes. As you step further away the brush strokes disappear and your eye pulls the whole painting together. That is what the magic of painting is about for me. This allows the viewer to use their own imagination and participate in the painting.”
To view Howard’s work, click HERE
John Pototschnik – “Italian Estate” – 18″x 24″ – Oil/Canvas
For the past two weeks I have posted blogs stressing the importance of determining your painting concept before beginning to paint. Howard and I painted the same villa and yet with totally different concepts. He was interested in the relationship of the villa to its environs, I was interested in the architecture. Exciting isn’t it?
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