Form and Function
On a brilliantly sunny autumn morning, Professor Richard Piccolo’s watercolor graphics class made the walk from the Rome Global Gateway to Campidoglio, an iconic hilltop square designed by Michelangelo that includes three Renaissance-era buildings that together make up the Capitoline Museums. From the steps of one of the buildings they had a unique perspective of two other landmarks: The Basilica di Santa Maria in Aracoeli, built in the 13th century, and the rear of the Altar of the Fatherland monument, completed in 1935. The students’ assignment this day: Draw the altar, basilica and facade of the adjacent museum building.
It was a daunting task that required careful attention to proximity and scale of the structures. The differing size of the structures made it difficult to determine relative depth and distance from one building to another. Piccolo walked among the students, looking over their shoulders and guiding their work. “You’re playing with fire,” he told one pupil.
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April 8, 2019