An Online Artist's Coop for Artists who Paint on Location
In the Spring of 2004 I was allowed to hold a small sketch by J.M.W. Turner depicting a site that I had seen many times in life, a view of Borghetto in the Tiber Valley. This work was in a sketchbook of Turner now at the Tate Museum in London where Maddine Insalaco, my wife, and I were doing research on early outdoor painting. We’ve seen this place many times, including each time we hold our Roman Campagna workshop in Civita Castellana because it is right next to the road leading to town. Last week we were back down there and got a chance to finally paint the scene ourselves. For me this has a BIG WOW factor! I was brought up in the cultural fringes of southern Florida where the great majority of buildings were post 1960 and I love the thrill of confronting the reality of the deeper past.
First is an image of how the scene looked in 1794 when J. Smith published this print of the ruined Borghetto next to the still used roadway. Second is a photo of my painting of July 2010. You cannot now see the site from same location as the print artist, because the view is obscured by forest growth and the thoroughfare is so busy you would soon be run over by the traffic. The site has degraded over time and you are not allowed on the property because of the danger to you and it.