https://goodonpaper.typepad.com > roman holiday

The recent events at the Vatican have put me in the mind of Rome. During school, I spent three weeks there taking a drawing class. We went in early summer, which must be the most beautiful time of the year to be in Italy. We went nowhere but Rome, and ended up learning it pretty well. Here are some drawings from my sketch book. We studied all kinds of architecture, from ancient to Fascist to modern. The modernism was my favorite to see, but the older buildings were the best to draw. Good thing Rome has both.

Temple of Antoninus and Faustina

Temple of Antoninus and Faustina

This is the temple of Antoninus and Faustina in the forum. Over the centuries the structures of roman antiquity were slowly buried by layers of urban refuse. The streets literally rose around the buildings, swallowing the lower stories. Because of this many buildings are built directly on top of older ones, sometimes in bizarre ways. At San Clemente two churches, one Medieval and one Renaissance, were both stacked onto a first century Roman temple. Here, the Christian church S. Lorenzo was inserted directly into the ruins of the ancient temple. At the time the church was built, the ancient columns were half buried. The forum has since been excavated leaving the door to the church hanging halfway up the ancient pillars.


At the Piazza del Popolo

At the Piazza del Popolo

One of two twin buildings marking the Piazza del Popolo. A strange perspective occurs at this piazza. Three major streets begin here and diverge radially. From the right spot you can see perfectly down each one at the same time.


Side Aisle at Saint John the Divine

Side Aisle at Saint John the Divine

This church marks the end of the Papal Way, the holy route of the pope through Rome. The nave of this church is kinked slightly near the altar. It was done purposefully by the Renaissance masons in recognition of mankind's imperfection. But I think if they had to go out of their way to create imperfection, it defeats the purpose in a pretty clear way, am I right?


On the Ponte Sant' Angelo

On the Ponte Sant' Angelo

The bridge leading to the Castel Sant' Angelo is lined with statues, such as this one. It is apparently the first instance of statuary ever intended to be seen three dimensionally. Until then, statues were always placed in niches, or along walls.


Swan Fresco

Swan Fresco

I saw this fresco of a swan at the Villa Giulia, a Renaissance Villa with beautiful gardens.


Swan Fresco 2

Swan Fresco 2

Another fresco from the Villa Giulia.


View of the Vatican from Castel Sant'Angelo

View of the Vatican from Castel Sant'Angelo

The Castel Sant'Angelo was built in the second century by the Emperor Hadrian. It was later turned into a war fortification, and then a prison. It is where Tosca leaps to her death in the opera Tosca. You can climb to the top and have a clear view of the Vatican.


Map of Piazza Navona

Map of Piazza Navona

We were charged by our professor to map the Piazza Navona using only our natural paces. Mine was not so accurate.


Inside San Andrea Quirinale

Inside San Andrea Quirinale

This is a crazy church with all kinds of reversing curvatures.


Athanasia and Mosiac Tile

Athanasia and Mosiac Tile

These mosiac patterns were at Constatine's tomb for his daughter. In a church nearby were ancient catacombs, creepy and deep. One of many names engraved in stone in the underground darkness was Athanasia next to a simple drawing of a bird. I like to think Athanasia was a small girl beloved by her family.


House of Baldasini

House of Baldasini

Here's a Roman renaissance house that breaks the line of the street wall, pushing out, advertising the prominence of the family who once lived there.


Altar of Saint Louis de Farnese

Altar of Saint Louis de Farnese

When we visited, the entire church was mired in scaffolding except for the altar.


Lady

Lady

This is a drawing of a statue found in the Vatican Museum, which is really just a collection of centuries' worth of plundered riches.


From the Cloisters of Santa Maria del Pace

From the Cloisters of Santa Maria del Pace

Santa Maria del Pace is a church with beautiful cloisters. From there you have only to raise your head slightly to see the cupola.


Mosiac at Villa Giulia

Mosiac at Villa Giulia

This mosiac was one of many mythical sea creatures depicted in tile and stone near one of the fountains in the gardens.


Motorino

Motorino

Motorini struck fear and joy into my heart at the same time. Some were shiny and chrome plated, others were visions of pastel creaminess, all were driven at breakneck speeds through the crowded winding streets of Rome.


At the Piazza Navona

At the Piazza Navona

The Piazza Navona was near our apartment, and so was the starting point of many of our walks.