The real attraction of en plein air painting is experimentation on reality.
Painters left the studio to work outdoors, catching light, reflections, deception and enchantment of reality that could no longer be reproduced in the atelier.
In the last ten years the five historic palms of Piazza di Spagna were down to three.
There were also five in the first postcards of the square dating back to '900.
You could put rows of sandbags piled up under the palm trees to make a trench, along with a canvas, a stool and colors.
A bivouac for artists who, while reproducing reality at close range, can also look over it.
Let’s first historicize the palms of the 20th century.
En Plein Air is an experiment that doesn’t fear the judgments of the artificial resurrection of a practice which has been averted by time. Painting has started indoors, inside caves.
According to the archaeologists, the oldest one dates back to 64,000 years ago.
Animals, geometries, daily life scenes such as hunting, the human body, hands.
Those were the subjects and with time passing of time, things have ‘t changed much.
It is true, as you say, the system goes fast, but it is normal, we are living in a time where we are having a lot of fun with robots. When the painters will manage to paint in the absence of gravity, reality will rise again unexpectedly, like those artists who, thank to the vagaries of the market, have the opportunity to emerge in the limelight in their third age.
At that moment reality will be the talk of the town as when rumor has it, that the old owner of restaurant of the neighborhood has not yielded to the mediocre charm of the square dish, despite being run now by the son, the one who plucks his eyebrows.
Studing Bamboccianti you could find a certain trace, a strong connection with the attention that our contemporaneity prefers to establish with certain subjects; I am sure that this choice draws a timeline with the visual moods of the Bamboccianti and the original spirit that guides the Studioli exhibitions.
Today prostitutes are called escorts and “scooteroni” are the horses.
Who will disturb the quiet of a hidden nutria among the reeds to make a portrait?
Who will study the stickers on helmets or on scooters, the new hieroglyphs that tell the secret life of the young generation of Ponte Milvio?
Van Laer's tobacconist is still there, but today he also sells marijuana with a low percentage of thc.
But this is not the point.
Instead, gathering an outdoor painting session in Rome today is very adventurous and enterprising. At least five large tall trees have fallen in 2017 alone.
Whatever may be said, Rome is a city always on the move and no one seems to like being in the same place.
Not even the trees.
Alessandro Cicoria and Giorgio Orbi