This original painting is currently for sale. At the present time, originals are not offered for sale through the Steve Henderson - Website secure checkout system. Please contact the artist directly to inquire about purchasing this original.
Matera, Italy, is not an old city, but an ancient one.
Nine thousand years ago during the Paleolithic era, people looked up from the shrub lands below to the rocky walls of the ravine, and they climbed. These first settlers dug into the hill top’s soft, volcanic stone to create the Sassi – a series of caverns, cisterns, tombs, residences, and chapels. The sheer walls of the ravine protected them from invaders from below.
As time went by, people stopped living in the caves, leaving them for their animals and storage, and built houses for themselves from stone – organically, independently, one by one next to an existing structure and then, eventually, on top of the roof of an existing structure.
The result, after 9,000 years, is a singular and idiosyncratic community that reflects the craftsmanship, ingenuity, determination, creativity, and toughness of its inhabitants.
The artwork, Lights of Matera, invites you to spend a quiet afternoon in Matera, claimed to be the third oldest continuously lived in city in the world, after Jericho, Jordan and Aleppo, Syria. As the waning sun leaves shadows in the foreground, working its way upward to the tops of the buildings in the distance before fully setting, the lights of the city turn on, casting a golden glow onto the many and jumbled walls. The result is magical.
Some call this a living nativity scene. Others say it looks more like ancient Jerusalem than Jerusalem does, and indeed, many movies have been filmed here, including Mel Gibson’s Passion of Christ and the 25th James Bond Film, No Time to Die.
We live in a time when a “smart” phone goes out of date within six months, and a most stylish sweater in less time than that, not to mention the bathroom we just renovated according to HGTVs latest recommendations. It is refreshing to walk the streets of a place that transcends trends.
January 15th, 2024
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