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Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Oasis ~ Borghese Gallery, Italy

When I first checked into my hotel in Rome the clerk wanted to know if I would like her to book me a ticket for the Borghese Gallery. It sounded like a good idea since I was told the only way to get in was to book ahead at least one day.  I’m so glad I did, for two reasons.

First of all it was a surprise to find such a beautiful green space in the centre of Rome. Acres of parkland dotted with fountains and winding pathways was such a welcome sight after all of the hustle bustle in this very busy city. (I am, after all the country mouse in this fairytale travel adventure I’m on). I arrived 3 hours ahead of my scheduled entry for the gallery to allow myself plenty of time to enjoy this quiet interlude. I found a fountain to sketch while eating my cheese and fruit picnic lunch. The sunlight filtered through the leaves creating dappled patterns of light adding to the splendour of the day.

Secondly, I was absolutely blown away by a Bernini statue titled Apollo and Daphne in the Borghese collection. The power and passion of this Greek myth forever immortalized in marble has left a lasting impression on me. I settled myself in and decided to try my interpretation of this monumental work of art with my sketchbook. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to finish this and one other sketch before my time was up. I didn’t realize I had only 2 hours to see the complete collection and was now left with two unfinished drawings. I thought I was so clever when I thought to buy post cards, unfortunately they were depicting views from other angles. I have since completed them from memory as no cameras were allowed. The figure has always been a challenge for me and I have found sketching statues a good subject to help me to improve. 

I found it interesting how absolutely no handbags were allowed in the gallery, but they did permit me to enter with a sketchbook and permanent marker.

Off now to find my way back through this labyrinth of streets as the sky now turns to hues of coral and mauve...another day well-lived.

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