Monday, 2 November 2009

Il Duomo di Catania, Sicilia

St. Agatha's, The Cathedral of Catania, Sicily
oil on canvas board - 24 x 30 cm
painted on location - Thurs 8 Oct 2009 

On Sicily’s east coast, Catania has been the prize of a stream of empires over the centuries, from Greeks to Romans to Arabs to Normans to Spaniards, to name just a few. But more devastating than invaders has been the city’s geography: It lies at the foot of Mount Etna, Europe’s largest and most active volcano, which completely destroyed the city with earthquakes and lava flows in 1693. Afterward, it was rebuilt in the baroque style (with creative use of lava) for which it’s today famous. It is also known as, "the black city". This is due to the fact that the streets/sidewalks and many of the monumental buildings were made of the readily available lava stone, which of course is black. The Piazza Del Duomo is a World Hertiage Monument, thus it is protected. But of course Mount Etna has its own rules, and when she decides, nobody can stop her! Thus because of this city, Horace, the Greek Philosoper was inspired to write the saying, Carpe Diem . Which translates to, seize the day , (trusting as little as possible in the future.)

A picture of the subject, taken shorly after I finished my painting, which I started late in the afternoon.

1 comment:

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

these photos are fantastic. You should paint them.
I also enjoy your commentary on the history of these places.