Last evening my wife and I, along with our plein air painter friends Maddine and Joe of Etruscan Places, visited the show of 19th century landscape paintings in Seravezza, above Forte dei Marmi:
The place, first of all, was a happy find: a palazzo/villa built by Cosimo I de’ Medici as an outpost above Lucca where he could keep an eye on his marble quarries. Recently restored, the palazzo provided a lovely setting for the show of Tuscan landscape painters who, influenced by Barbizon realism, re-approached the local landscape with gimlet eye.
|Palazzo Mediceo in Seravezza|
These were, admittedly studio works and not done en plein air, but they smacked of a freshness and clarity of vision honed in the clear light of the marble mountains around Carrara. Corot’s studio work always disappoints after appreciating his open air painting, but these artists probably (there were no plein airs to compare them to) exceeded themselves in the studio, retaining the freshness of observation but combining it with calculated effects of reflected light, chiaroscuro, and a rich, albeit controlled, palette.
If you find yourself in this part of Italy this summer, take a break after the beach and visit the show, open evenings from 5pm to midnight. Wednesday evenings, apparently, aperitifs are offered on the grounds....