It goes quickly. We’re done our first week here in the Eternal City and we’ve already covered (physically and intellectually) a lot of ground. It’s hard to believe that we’re into February and precisely 4 weeks from now (almost exactly now); we’ll be settling in to apartments in Istanbul. Students have embraced this intense pace; we had a sketchbook review today (3 hours) and looked at (a modest estimate) over 500 sketches. Some of this crew is halfway through their first notebook; other are closing out their first; still others have two sketchbooks on the go and I know there’s a 3-sketchbook person out there too.
Last week was a blur. What exactly did we do? We had a progress review on the course project and groups are laying things out on big sheets already (yes!); we had a walking lecture with Paolo on Monday but you already know about that… Students had some work time, we visited the Borghese Gallery and spent a morning swooning over Bernini and Titian, those Raphaels and Boticellis and a Caravaggio or two. They fanned out into the city (I’ve got us averaging 50-55 miles of walking per week thanks to the trusty pedometer) and have been assiduously exploring, investigating and documenting their sites and monuments, their spaces and landscapes. We had another lecture with Paolo on Saint Peters (amazing, of course), followed by a visit to the Vatican Museum and the Basilica to close out our Friday afternoon. Students were back at the Center this afternoon, laying out their base-maps (yes!) for the project – it’s great to see how quickly they’re jumping into this drawing project – full speed ahead.
This group is ravenous – both in the consumption of gelato – and in their desire to explore the city and its surroundings. You should, if you’re instagram inclined, follow along with the “romeistanbul2016” hashtag. We’ve also got some fantastic photographers in the group and its wonderful to see the Eternal City and its light and landscapes through all these new eyes and these new images.