The Amazing Italians

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What is it with the Italians, anyway?

How is it that this tiny country has given us Leonardo, Michelangelo, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Bramante, Gianni Versace, Enzo Ferrari, Sophia Loren, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Giorgio Armani…and pizza…and on and on? Art must run through their veins.
I’ve been to a number of European countries but it is Italy that has captured my imagination and affection, not for its politics or religion, mind you, but for its sheer physical beauty. I think the Italians are unsurpassed as sculptors, architects, and designers of products, including automobiles and clothing.

The French remain my favorite painters (not of houses but of canvases).
The Italian landscape is breathtaking. From the countryside to the mountains, from the coast to the towns…my desire to paint scenes of this amazing country will never fade.

John Pototschnik Italian Estate – 18″x 24″ – Oil
My wife and I have been to Italy twice. The highlight of the second trip for me was the time spent on Lake Como. It had rained for several days prior to the cruise, so to have perfect weather for the day on the lake was exhilarating…so much so, I didn’t even want to eat for fear of missing something.
The town of Como, where our cruise of the lake began, has a population of around 100,000 people. It is an important industrial center of textiles, metallurgy, food and chemicals. Most famous of all is what the Italians call the “industria serica“, or silk industry. Today, Italy is the largest producer of finished silk cloth in the world. Como’s closeness to the prestigious fashion capital of Milan favors the city’s continued recognition world-wide.
Lake Como is 30 miles long and is the deepest of Italy’s lakes at 1345 feet. Narrow and winding, it is divided into three branches: Como, Lecco, and the upper lake area. Already loved by wealthy Romans for their summer villas, Lake Como became an important part of the 18th and 19th century Grand Tour and the prime choice for the luxurious villas and gardens of nobility and potentates. Against a backdrop of steep mountains and coastline dwellings, the whole cruise was spectacular.

John Pototschnik Coastline Dwellings – 20″x 20″ – Oil
A few weeks ago, I revealed that I was beginning a new painting of Italy. The monochromatic block-in was shown along with a few progressive step photos. The painting shown above is the completed piece. It will be available through Greenhouse Gallery, but it first will receive a custom frame.
My desire was to capture the beauty of the Lake Como coastline along with its wonderful architecture. The Italians choice of color for the buildings harmonizes perfectly with the landscape, creating an almost idyllic environment.

Gian Lorenzo Bernini – Damned Soul – White marble – 1619
Italian Pizza – Natural ingredients -18″ in diameter – 2011
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