August 4, 2014

Architecture Fellowship in Italy, Installment 2

I've been spending lots of time in Civita di Bagnoregio trying to learn about its architectural history. Lots of books, including some I stumble through in Italian, lots of walking around, and a fair amount of sketching. I get a lot of, "were you the woman sketching in the piazza yesterday, on the little stool?" Si!

View 1, looking north toward the medieval Priest's House and prison (close to where the priest and Bishop could keep an eye on the culprits!):

The main street here was an Etruscan east-west Decumanus Maximus (a town planning concept later picked up the Romans), and the main piazza that was an Etruscan then Roman forum nearly three thousand years ago is still the heart of all the activity in this tiny town. Tonight, there is a jazz concert here, and the entire town and visitors will turn out in the piazza.

View 2, looking west toward the Medieval home turned into the Town Hall during the Renaissance. The exterior stair is a detail typical of this region.

I decided to do a series of wide angle drawings of this ancient space, with notes that would describe some of the buildings whose history I was learning about. Here are four images of the Piazza San Donato, one view in each direction. And you can see how I eventually figured out the color palette, including shadows and shade-- a lot more gray than I expected! And I switched from Burnt Siennato Quinacridone Burnt Orange for the glow...

View 3, looking east toward the Chiesa San Donato and Campenille bell tower, probably both built by the Longobardos (Lombards) around 600AD.

View 4, late afternoon looking south toward the Renaissance palazzi Arcangeli and Alemanni, the largest in Civita, built around 1550AD. And I finally figured out the colors!!

Next installment of this fellowship adventure in Italy will be 3,000-year-old Etruscan caves and tombs...


Stephanie Bower is a correspondent of Urban Sketchers Seattle. Read Installment 1 of her report on her Fellowship here. See more of her work on her website, blog and flickr.


Marisa Ortún said...

Great sketches. The idea of the four sides and the wide angle, I like a lot.

Jessie Chapman said...

So evocative, and I love the wide angle. I'm really hoping to come to Civita next summer!

Stephanie Bower said...

Thank you, Marisa and Jessie--the workshop I'm teaching in Brazil is 180 degrees, how to do the wide angle views in I'm getting in lots of practice before! And I hope to do more in Civita again next year, would be awesome if you could come here, Jessie!