Ninfa Gardens

Cisterna di Latina, Italy
This residency in the magical garden of Ninfa is exceptional. I was virtually alone in the garden every day, where I spent at least 5 hours per day. The garden exudes a melancholic past, and is a construct in a site that has over 1000 years of history. I  tried to infuse my paintings with the sentiment and energy that I feel each time I drove in, parked my car and felt the rich earth and humid atmosphere and surely all of the former lives that have passed through this oasis. The changing light of Fall and the daily subtle transformation of a garden slowly sleeping after giving so much during the spring and summer was magnificent.  I sensed the pressure of the famous artists and writers that spent time here in the 1920's. There were so many subjects here, I could spend a lifetime. This picture is taken in front of the building that was given to me as a studio during my residency. Here is the text from the Friends of Ninfa Newsletter; AN ARTIST AT NINFA From Esme Howard In a happy reminder of the old days of Caetani cultural hospitality, Californian artist Gianne de Genevraye, who specialises in gardens, spent two months painting at Ninfa in autumn 2016, immersing herself in the garden’s seasonal and visual challenges and braving the elements. She has an impressive track record of gar-den painting, with exhibitions and residencies in the United States and across Europe. Among her residen-cies in Italy have been the American Academy in Rome, Villa Hanbury (La Mortola), and La Mortella in Ischia. In her first note to me from Ninfa, soon after beginning work, she wrote: But the garden, the garden. Never have I seen a more exceptional place. I was trying to understand why the work is coming slowly and only with contemplation... The deep spirituality of the place is permeating… I spend about 5 hours a day there, some painting, and a lot of walking to fill my own soul with the spirit of the place. Also an undeniable melancholia, with the shadows of all of the lives that lived there. But especially the ghosts of the great artists that Ada welcomed and who created works of art there. I only hope that I will be worthy of their company... When I first saw Gianne’s paintings, it struck me that her tonal deli-cacy was reminiscent of Lelia Caetani’s work. The style, evidently, is more modern, impressionistic and intuitive, but it is the product of well-attuned skills and thoughtful preparation. Gianne, as she alludes, is one of few artists in recent times to have been able to follow Ada and Marguerite’s pleasing tradition of allowing the garden to inspire gifted men and women by giving them the opportunity to spend un-hurried time at Ninfa. Gianne plans an exhibition at Sermoneta in July this year during the Music Campus. She is also donating one of her paintings to the Foundation.