The closing day of Morena Guarnaschelli’s exhibition of paintings was held in the aristocratic setting of the Salon Anglaise in the Baths of Lucca. This room, in which the game of roulette is reputed to have been played for the very first time, still preserves a large part of its original arcadian decoration and was well-restored in 2009.
We should not have had a full English breakfast of eggs and cheese toast at home that Sunday morning as reception greeted us with a scrumptious spread of chocolate brownies, strawberries and cream all washed down with spumante and fizzy rosé.
Dr. Vito Valentino the cultural councillor for the municipality of Bagni gave, before a varied and distinguished company of artists and art-.lovers, an introduction both to the historical setting and to Morena’s work. Being used to her masterfully executed watercolour portraits and scenes of African life (she is a lover of that continent and a keen supporter of clean water schemes for it) we were surprised by the different turn Morena’s style had taken – more fantastic, symbolical, abstract-almost. (These paintings and the beautiful setting have already been very well-described and illustrated in Debra Kolkka’s blog at http://bellabagnidilucca.com/2013/04/08/la-mostra-di-morena/ so I won’t say more about them here.) The inspiration for this stylistic change was, the artist stated, a deep, suffering experience.
The harp recital by the young and brilliant Anna-Livia Walker (another first-class graduate from Lucca’s famed” Luigi Boccherini” conservatoire) was outstanding. Pieces ranging from Hindemith’s sonata for harp to Moon River displayed Ms Walker’s great versatility on her instrument. I especially liked the Celtic medley:
The Handel, too, was delicious:
and “these are my favourite things” quite delightful:
Dr Vito presented flowers to Anna-Livia and Morena at the end of a very pleasant morning which otherwise only promised even more April peturbations: