Impressions of Italy

Updated: Oct 20, 2021

Italy is one of my all-time favourite places. The wobbly lines of the beautiful old architecture make it a sketcher's dream come true!

'Tuscany', etching and aquatint, 4.5 x 23cm, Hahnemuhle paper, edition of 20 (2003)
'Venetian Moonlight', 10 x 19.8cm, blue, Hahnemuhle paper, edition of 20 (2001)

Delia and I enjoyed our second honeymoon there in 2000. Ashlea and Emma joined us on our second visit in 2019. We travelled to Italy knowing that it was blessed with a tremendously rich artistic and cultural heritage. As I'm sure it is for many visitors, the Sistine Chapel was certainly a highlight on that score. However, we were astonished to find that the country boasts such an abundance of historical buildings they can even afford to house pigs in what remains of a 15th century church. This must be at the very other end of the spectrum to Australia where knocking down a lacklustre edifice built in the 1950s can create a furore!

Italian pig-style! Frieze on the inside of the Arch of Titus, Rome.

Of all the things we saw in our two trips to Italy, the Arch of Titus in Rome, or more precisely, the frieze on the inside of the Arch of Titus, stood out for me. The frieze celebrates the destruction of Jerusalem and the looting of its temple by Roman forces in AD70. As a Christian, I found it encouraging to see with my very own eyes, clear archaeological evidence of an event Jesus foretold and to wander through the streets of a city in which the Apostle Paul was imprisoned.

Sketching in Rome and Venice (2000).

Sketches of a backstreet in Limone and The Grand Canal, Venice.


When it was decided that we would sail for Italy, Paul and some other prisoners were handed over to a centurion named Julius, who belonged to the Imperial Regiment. (Acts 27:1)

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