Villa Giulia

We started sketching class yesterday at Piazza di Spagna (aka the "Spanish Steps"), and I spent my time helping students - it's a very challenging subject. When we broke for lunch, I scooted ahead to do a sketch of the Palazzina di Pio IV, which turns the corner with a beautiful composition of engaged columns, inscribed tablets, and a fountain at the base. My students caught up and started gathering around just as I was beginning to put down the first washes. I sort of rushed it at the end, but was still happy with the result.

Next we walked down the street to the Villa Giulia, built for Julius III in 1550-55, and designed be Vignola, Vasari, and Ammannati ... "with some help from Michelangelo," or so says my guidebook. It contains the national museum of Etruscan antiquities - though I suppose it's redundant to say "Etruscan antiquities," because, if it was made by Etruscans, then it must be ancient. The museum is very interesting, but the villa is really fascinating. The organization of the plan and the way the nymphaeum drops in section ... it's a sequence of spaces that's impossible to capture in one or two perspectives, so I opted for a plan/section/paraline combination. It was a great challenge! 


  1. Looks amazing, any advice for watercolors?

  2. Hi Benjamin - I wouldn't know where to begin in a comment like this, but you can look for my forthcoming book, "Sketching on Location," which includes a chapter on color. It should be available in August or September 2012.


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