For those adventurous artists who have squeezed the last drop from your yellow ochre and burnt sienna while painting Tuscan sunrises and sunsets, head south. I’m not talking Rome or Naples or Salerno, I mean the Deep South that Carlo Levi wrote about in Christ Stopped at Eboli.
In 1935, The Fascists exiled Levi to this region as a political prisoner. For persons unfamiliar with this book, it has nothing to do with religion or of Christ making a weekend get-away to the Basilicata region. It refers to the idea that if Christ was traveling south in Italy and doing his Godly thing along the way, then he stopped when he reached Eboli. Levi wrote: “upon my arrival, the peasants said, ‘we are not Christians, Christ stopped short of here, at Eboli.’ Christian, in their way of speaking meant human being.” This “God-forsaken” region remains today a land outside time.
So, what do I like about this earthy and primeval region? Just that. It’s earthy and primitive. In addition, the architecture is fun and challenging to paint.
The original watercolor has been sold, but giclee prints are available at: https://fineartamerica.com/featured/matera-pamela-allegretto.html
How did I miss this post Pamela? I love your painting! I only spent the day in Matera but I want to go back to stay for a few days and wander around with my sketchbook. I have read the book several times. it is so well written, it doesn’t get old. Buona Domenica, Cristina
Grazie mille. Yes, it’s an extraordinary book. Another great book by Levi is: The Watch. It takes place mostly in Rome after the war. Here is the link on Amazon if you want to read a bit about it. I really did like it, as I admire Levi’s writing style, but I must say that I liked Christ Stopped at Eboli better. Saluti!