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Siena’s Lasting Glow

Siena At Dusk (2019); 5″ x 12″ ink and watercolour

O gracious city well-beloved,
Italian, and a maiden crowned,
Siena, my feet are no more moved
Toward thy strange-shapen mountain-bound:
But my heart in me turns and moves,
O lady loveliest of my loves,
Toward thee, to lie before thy feet
And gaze from thy fair fountain-seat
Up the sheer street

– from “Siena” by Algernon Charles Swinburne

 

I can certainly relate, Mr. Swinburne!

I’ve visited Siena a number of times but this is the first time I’ve painted it. I couldn’t resist capturing this view of the city just as the sun was going down on the last day of 2018.

Our family party of 8 made a day trip this past December 31st to San Gimignano and Siena. The day turned out to be sunny and balmy. We strolled through the streets, grabbed some delicious lunch, took in the cathedral and Piazza del Campo before heading back to the car park. This was the beautiful vista from above the car park! We were silently taking in the magnificence of the golden light brilliantly painting the upper town and the Torre del Mangia.  And as the poem says, “my heart in me turns and moves” – I was transfixed by what I was seeing and so grateful to be there in that moment, sharing it with my family.

A transcendent and beautiful way to close out 2018!

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