Our first ‘View from Abroad’ post, by Beatrice Hughes, studying in Padua as part of her History of Art-Italian programme

When you think of Italy, you might think of a few of these things: Renaissance art and architecture, pasta, pizza, olive oil, small fiats and coffee. As an art history student, you would think that on arriving in Padua I would go straight to The Scrovegni Chapel to see Giotto’s legendary frescoes. And I did; last time I was here in June. However, on arriving here a second time, I decided to pursue some more modern art, having already spent a lot of time in Italy looking at the classics.  As it happens I struck gold on this mission, even narrowly missing the artist himself who was returning from the city centre.

It was a particularly muggy day last week with that kind of temperature which makes it difficult to physically move your limbs faster. I’d located on the map an exhibition of the works of Paolo del Giudice a little out of town and set off from my apartment on my medieval little street. I took my time getting there in the oppression of the afternoon heat.  When I arrived, I found a stunningly curated exhibition in a high-ceilinged warehouse. The canvases were spatially positioned well apart from one another and some were suspended in mid- air from the ceiling.

The huge, raw and expressive oil paintings  of Italian architecture and industry really took my breath away, which doesn’t happen very often.  The artist Paolo del Giudice has an impressionistic knack for capturing the formative, lineal and tonal essence of a building/face/object, but without the sentimental and ‘wall-flower’ type interpretation of the Impressionists.

As for pasta, pizza, small fiats, coffee, architecture and olive oil; check! When I arrived in my apartment there were no plates, there was no bedding, not even a fork. But there was a gigantic 2 litre bottle of homemade olive oil.


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