2022 / Portrait Dialogues


From March 19 to April 22, emerging artists Sam Bordley, Lydia Chapman and Emily Rogers in conversation with artists Angelica Kauffman and Violante Siries




The exhibition 'Portrait Dialogues' features portraits painted under the tutelage of Charles H. Cecil Studios, in the Oltrarno. They depict 'friends and neighbours' from Florence's riverside artisans' district, where Bordley, Chapman and Rogers have reached the end of their 3-year study programme. The paintings were crafted using the 'sight-size' method, first developed by Titian and the old Baroque masters. British artist Emily Rogers explains the age-old technique, also highly popularised by John Singer Sargent in the early 1900s. "The canvas is placed next to the sitter's head and we, as painters, walk up and down, towards and away from the painting, in order to look at it from a distance. The further you stand from something, the more effectively you see what you are doing!"



Artist Lydia Chapman at work, using the sight-size method



The 16 paintings on show will be displayed alongside female portraits by Violante Siries Cerroti (1709-1783) and Federigo Angeli's 1930s copy of an Uffizi self-portrait by Angelica Kauffman (1741-1807). Through the centuries, from the Baroque period onwards, women artists were often commissioned portraits - a genre used to draw up advantageous marriages from afar or for 'marketing purposes' to bolster the image of a public figure. As a follow-up to the show, Rogers, Bordley and Chaplin will be drawing connections (or discovering contrasts) between their art and that of historic women artists, and their research will be included in the 'Oltrarno Gaze' catalogue, published in June 2022 by the Florentine Press.


The exhibition "Portrait Dialogues" forms part of the 'Oltrarno Gaze 2022' cultural programme, organised by The British Institute of Florence, in collaboration with Il Palmerino Cultural Association, thanks to a grant by Advancing Women Artists Legacy Fund.


From March 19 to April 22

Thursdays to Sundays or by appointment, 3pm to 6.30pm

La Colonica del Palmerino, Via del Palmerino 6 - Florence

Admission free.


Reservations required to join aperitif on inauguration

night and final evening (March 19 / April 22):

associazione@palmerino.it


"Oltrarno Gaze 2022" is a programme designed to spotlight modern-day art and artisanship from the Florentine district, whilst exploring its connection to historic women artists of the past. The programme enjoys the patronage of Consulate of the United States of America in Florence. Its communication partners include The Florentine and Calliope Arts / Restoration Conversations.