Steeples and Chimneys
by Steve Henderson
18.000 x 14.000 inches
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Steeples and Chimneys
Painting - Oil On Panel
You are standing on a second storey-balcony, looking out over the rooftops of Orvieto, Italy.
A jumble of clay tiles greets your eye, and their warm orange glow is the perfect complement to the verdant greens of the agricultural land in the distance. The sky is blue, the day is warm, the sounds of the village surround you: cars passing through the cobblestoned streets below, children calling out to one another on their way home from school, people laughing and chatting as they walk by. Some, seeing you on the balcony, smile and wave. And of course, you smile and wave back:
From your perch above (which, technically since this is in Italy, should be described as the first storey, not the second, as we would identify it in the U.S.), you enjoy the textures and shapes of the roofs to many houses, and some churches. This is a pleasantly busy place, one where people live close to one another and yet enjoy their privacy.
The artwork, Steeples and Chimneys, is a celebration of the rich heritage of Italy, a heritage that spans many many many generations over thousands of years. Orvieto, a hilltop town in the Umbria region, has been the home to Etruscans, to Romans, to townspeople of the Middle Ages, and now, to a population that welcomes many tourists to its narrow, winding streets of ancient homes and churches.
The buildings have an organic, natural feeling – this is not a cold, stark, unfriendly “smart” city, but rather, it is a town filled with real people: merchants, residents, school children, long timers, visitors, tourists, families, couples and their cats and dogs. It is a place to walk through and experience, meeting and greeting others, and then returning to your balcony perch where the vista is well worth taking time to see and enjoy.
November 27th, 2023
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