Saturday, February 7, 2009

Twilight at Glanum

Two years ago I did a short series of canvases based on sites I visited during an October 2005 trip to the south of France. One of these sites was the Roman ruins of Glanum, an ancient city that once thrived just south of present-day Saint-Remy-de-Provence.

The Glanum site may date back to 1,000 BC, and existed prior to its later occupation by the Greeks and then the Romans. Roman rule began in approximately 100 BC and continued until 260 AD when it was destroyed by the Alamanni tribe of Germanic descent. The most striking feature to survive today is the triumphal arch constructed between 10 and 25 AD. Nearby is a towering cenotaph dedicated to Sextius, Marcus and Lucius Julius, the sons of Gaius. (More information on this area is available at

During his stay in Arles and Saint-Remy from 1888 to 1890, Vincent Van Gogh painted in the Glanum area. In fact, the Van Gogh painting entitled "The Olive Trees" (1889) depicts the rocky bluffs that can be seen today overlooking the excavated site at Glanum.

For my canvas, I relied on photographs taken during my afternoon visit to the site. The final composition is a combination of several images I captured that day, and the setting sunlight and distant mountains were created from imagination and memory.

In August 2007 this painting was juried into the Flanders Art Gallery's Regional Art Exhibition by juror Bill Thelen. It will also be featured in my upcoming solo exhibition "Structure and Light" at the Jordan Hall Arts Center (Cary NC) in April of this year.

"Twilight at Glanum." Oil on stretched canvas, 30 x 40 inches, completed July 2007.

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