Two Weeks in Rome

I’ve been back at the easel for a couple days now after two weeks in Rome which we spent looking at art. As I mentioned in an Instagram post, it’s important as an artist to see great work in person, to learn from it, and aspire to it. It’s very centring and puts it all in perspective.

Lemay in Rome

What I kept noticing on this trip is a delicacy of articulation in the work we looked at whether it was a Filippo Lippi or a Valentin de Boulogne. The little nuances of volume and colour that make up a powerful picture are beautifully tempered.

Robert Lemay in Rome

I was feeling uncertain about my “Antique Hydrangeas” painting when we left home, but studying the Caravaggios again in person, and looking at the tenebrism, I think my own paintings exhibit a similar strong volume and light within the dark.

Robert Lemay in Rome

My overwhelming feeling of Rome is that it’s a city of sculpture, of three dimensions, from the Romans, to the Renaissance, to the Baroque. The sculpture and its integration with the architecture creates a dynamic cityscape.

Robert Lemay

The way that sculpture is integrated with the exterior of buildings and interior niches, columns, pilasters, and cornices, creates an amazing play of light which reveals volume in revelatory ways. There is much to be gleaned from this as a painter.

Lemay Rome

This was my fourth time in Italy and third time in Rome. It’s nice to reflect on the changes in one’s life and work over many decades as measured against the eternal city.

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I realize we’re just living in Edmonton but this feels lucky, too. The goal, simply, is to just work, try to stay healthy, and make good paintings.

Robert Lemay in Rome