At The Beach With Giotto (In Mind)

As a painter of beaches, when I saw the Giotto frescoes at the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua I was struck by how much parts of it resemble pools of water with angels swimming about in them. The azure of the ceiling and pale cerulean and pinky golds of the chapel walls look to me like a deep plunge pool flanked by sandy cliffs.

Subsequently Giotto’s frescoes have had a strong influence on some of my overhead views of beaches. The elements of flattened perspective, flowing arabesques, high key tones and background textures with the animated figures floating or struggling in their own patch of terrain or sea, all perfectly inform the style of the frieze-like beach scenes I want to capture.

Will Smith / The Rowley Gallery

Frames of reference

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