The view from afar of the Benedictine Abbey of Sant’Antimo near the town of Montalcino in Tuscany, Italy. Construction began on the abbey in the 12th century. The monastery stands out alone amid lovely golden fields of wheat, the typical narrow Tuscan cypresses flanking it.
I’ve been going through my photo archives recently trying to weed out duplicates; for some reason the photos on my Apple devices are showing up double or sometimes even triple. While I was deleting extras, I culled out the duds and then collated some of my favourite travel photographs from over the years into albums. I found quite a few good ones from my summer in Italy in 2007.
For this picture I had climbed the many many winding narrow steps to the very top of the dome of the basilica. Boy, did that make me dizzy! It was early in the day and as I gazed out over the nearly empty plaza in front of the façade and Bernini’s colonnade, there was a sense of overwhelming grandeur. What a place! What a place! From the top of the inside of the dome, one could look over a railing and see down to the impressive tomb of Saint Peter himself directly below. Inside the church, with its dusky side chapels and shafts of dusty light coming down in long rays, I even saw the famous Pieta statue of Michelangelo, circling around it slowly and in awe. Michelangelo was one of the principle architects for the basilica, did you know?
It’s hard to believe that trip was 10 years ago. How time flies…
To my ongoing series of butterflies I have added this new painting of a Spanish Moon Moth, which I know isn’t a butterfly but it is just as colourful as one, if not more. Both moths and butterflies fall under the order of Lepidoptera and many moths are just as showy as butterflies so there isn’t as much of a difference as you might think. The Spanish Moon Moth’s scientific name is Graellsia isabella. It is native to Spain, as you would expect, and parts of France. It feeds exclusively on pine needles high in the Alps and the Pyrenees. This is a digital painting done on my iPad Pro.
I visited Stratford-upon-Avon a few years ago to see The Merchant of Venice at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. We went to the tomb of Shakespeare at the Holy Trinity Church in the town, the church where he was baptised as well. The tomb is inside the church and on the grave there is this inscription:
Good frend, for Iesvs sake, forbeare to digg the dvst encloased heare. Blese be ye man, ye spares thes stones, and cvrsed be he ye moves my bones.
I guess I was expecting something a little more meaningful or transcendent than a grave-robber’s curse. Very interesting indeed…
This oil on linen painting is based on a photo that I took of the path leading to the entrance of the church.