pen & ink 1961
I loved living there in the early 60s' with it's cheap resturants, cafes and vibrant street life.
Each evening half the population would spill out onto the street, set up tables and chairs ready for the nightly meal. Among the shouting ,agitated mothers would call their wayward sons, "Michaelangelo, Raphaelo, come here at once". This nightly performance was highly amuseing to the foreign student population.
|"Evening Relaxation Trasteverie"|
Pencil sketch 1962
Every Sunday across Viale di Trasteverie Rome's popular flea market would come to life drawing thousands of Romans and tourests alike.This regular search for hided treasures became a weekly ritual, generally most "treasures" were still covered in dirt having only just been dug up a few hours before. The owners no doubt believing such an appearance greatly enhanced their value! Many of these items are "aged" in some vacant plot or flower box..It reminded me of the council truck with S.P.Q.R. brazenly displayed on the side unloading a variety of broken columns and the odd arm or leg onto the ground of some newly created park so tourests woud have photo opportunitoies.
I had taken over an American's studio who had found himself in Rome instead of Barcelonia, due to "problems" with Franco's henchmen. Rome was not to his liking either so he was going to eat French Fries in Paris instead. The studo window overlooked a convent courtyard, complete with chickens, date palms and vegitable patch. I took great delight in observing the daily routine of the nuns as they went about their work.Every morning I would be woken by the convent bell calling everyone to prayer
My apartment building was just down the road from a lovely little church called Santa Cecilia, according to historical records Cecilia had been condemed to death by the Roman authorities. At first the had tried to scald her in her own bath of boiling water,when this failed they were ordered to decapitate her. This also failed after three attempts [apparently the swards were not very sharp], she lived a further three days in her house, the site of the church today.
Another lovely church near by was Santa Maria, one of the oldest in Rome. It contains a number of fine old Byzantine mosaics, this greatly influenced my interest in religious art, an interest that I was to develop further in London, were I studied the art of stained glass at the London Central School of Art. At the time this seemed to be a possible career path, but unfortunately the cost of windows in today's world proved too much for most patrons.