Pinacoteca di Bologna

Pinacoteca di Bologna

On Wednesday we went to Bologna, arriving for lunch at the Trattoria Meloncello, a modest restaurant on a busy road that we like because of its sign, and the fact that it has still to take down the Christmas decorations.

The name comes from the adjacent Arco del Meloncello, an 18th-century Rococo structure that forms a pedestrian portico over the road. This was the setting for the final scene of Luca Guadagnino’s series ‘We Are Who We Are’.

It is part of the Portico di San Luca, at 3.8km it’s the longest covered walkway in the World, continuing up the hillside to the Sanctuary of the Madonna of San Luca.

I felt very privileged when we arrived at the Pinacoteca Nazionale di Bologna, as there were few other visitors so I had the place to myself. Lavinia Fontana’s great portrait of the Gozzadini family, which I had come to see, was given remarkable prominence, with a processional strip of marble leading through a gallery of local Mannerist paintings to a raised platform in front of the work.

I helped myself to a chair and sat looking, then familiarising myself with the details by drawing them. I explored the shapes of the jewellery and the patterns and structure of the ruffs, collars and cuffs.

Also the effect of the Bolognese silk, slashed to reveal the colour beneath, adding complexity to the folds of the sumptuous silk garments. 

Eventually, exhausted, I turned my attention to the other pictures in the room, works by her contemporaries, the three Carracci brothers and Guido Reni, getting a better understanding of the interests of the painters and their subjects, realising how much I’ve learned since I was last in that gallery 10 years ago.

Now I’m back in Brighton getting my studio ready for the Studio sale from 2pm on Saturday 24th February, to which you are warmly invited. I really hope to see you then. I’ll be selling some discounted earlier works and some newer paintings and drawings too.

2 Park Crescent



Have a great week.

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