Annigoni’s Ghost

In the year 2007-08, I moved into a new apartment on Borgo degli Albizi in Florence. I had been seeking a new home with space for a studio inside, and my first glance on an internet screen gave me the phone number for a place with approximately the square meterage I was looking for. It was the only apartment I ended up looking at. The landlord took me inside and showed me the first room on the right, a gigantic bedroom with an enormous wall of windows facing north. I said yes immediately, but he insisted on showing me the rest of the house, including a fireplace kitchen, the bedroom balcony, a living room nook with the Duomo outside the window and Morandi etchings on the wall. He then explained that years ago, the house had been part of Pietro Annigoni’s former studio at that address, and he had in fact painted his famous portrait of Queen Elizabeth in my “bedroom.” While in this new house, I began a series of interiors, rearranging the furniture and inventing elements, reminding myself from time to time what a treasure it was to live and paint inside the former studio of such a distinguished artist. The paintings here are from that very special year. 

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