Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Easels in the Sacristy

John Singer Sargent, Pavement of St. Mark's, 1898
In late-nineteenth-century Venice, worshippers and tourists had to share St. Mark's cathedral with painters. According to artist and ambassador Maitland Armstrong, the artists were given an honored place:
"In San Marco the artists were privileged; we could sit and paint wherever we pleased, no one ever interfering with us; we were allowed to store our easels and canvases in the sacristy—there were so many of them that it looked more like a studio than the robing-room of a church... Never was there a more delightful place to work in."
Quote from Day Before Yesterday: Reminiscences of a Varied Life by Maitland Armstrong, 1920


Karl Kanner said...

Why do I get the feeling I wouldn't be allowed to bring my easel in nowadays...haha. Very interesting, James!

Susan Krzywicki said...

That painting is delicious.

gronkchicago said...

Remember going to Amsterdam back in the 1980's and seeing artists setting up in the Old Church. Wonderful.