Story of Otranto – Timeless Ideals

I love history, I love the human whys and hows. Where were these artworks coming from? The artworks completed are distinctly tied in with the surroundings, with the dichotomy of living in the present but with the influence of the past.

Here is a brief story of one of a short physical time, but a lasting effect on the people, the place and the existence in Otranto. It doesn’t matter to me what religion they were, it is the ideal of standing up for one’s beliefs in the face of mortality, with the knowing and understanding that ideals last longer than one’s breath on earth.

History of the Otranto Martyrs 1
History of the Otranto Martyrs 1
History of the Otranto Martyrs 2
History of the Otranto Martyrs 2
History of the Otranto Martyrs 3
History of the Otranto Martyrs 3
History of the Otranto Martyrs 4
History of the Otranto Martyrs 4
History of the Otranto Martyrs 5
History of the Otranto Martyrs 5
History of the Otranto Martyrs 6
History of the Otranto Martyrs 6
History of the Otranto Martyrs 7
History of the Otranto Martyrs 7

There was a place for the martyrs of Otranto, with heads and bones still in place behind the glass case, and the stone used to behead them, still containing fragments of bone and flesh, in the space under the altar. It was quite macabre, but it was effective. Strong visual reminders of the human ego, the requirement of other less evolved beings to dominate and to be right, the cruelty of humans to their fellow man, our mortality but our endurance and fortitude, strength and power over one’s own actions in spite of external pressures. These people lived by their own rules.

These kinds of stories abound all over the world, and are not particular to this region, but anyone coming here, can not help but be affected, if they are open. Time is different, and the veil is very thin. Somehow, the wind is the guardian I think…

I am reminded of Lao Tzu’s wisdom:

“He who gains a victory over other men is strong; but he who gains a victory over himself is all powerful.”

The Otranto Martyrs shrine
The Otranto Martyrs shrine
The Rock used for beheading the Martyrs
The Rock used for beheading the Martyrs

The emotions of the people who lived here still linger. Remember during artwork creation, I was reacting instinctively and without thought to the place, reveling in experiences, feelings, emotions, intuition, just making marks, just being in the moment. It is only now, three weeks later, after the effects of being present are considered and thought upon that these conclusions are being reached. I am very grateful that I had this opportunity to come to a place where I could immerse myself completely in all aspects: sensory and intellectual. Both the male and the female have been represented, and there is a balance.

Charcoal Graphite drawing painting Julia Trops
Charcoal Graphite drawing painting Julia Trops
Charcoal Graphite drawing painting Julia Trops
Charcoal Graphite drawing painting Julia Trops
Charcoal Graphite drawing painting Julia Trops
Charcoal Graphite drawing painting Julia Trops
Charcoal Graphite drawing painting Julia Trops
Charcoal Graphite drawing painting Julia Trops

Rome Day 2 – The Doria Pamphilj, the Pantheon and the Palazzo Altemps

Not yet acclimatized, I was up early, and the bed was horrid. I went and asked for a new room. The night held a lot of noise from the street, and I had the windows open not knowing that there was air conditioning in the room, or where the controls were. It just never entered in to my mind that there would be air conditioning. Anyway, I got a new room, and a topper on the bed, which helped considerably.

I bought a Roma Pass. Word of advice, don’t spend your money on one. It is good for only two visits to attractions, not three as described in other places. Don’t take the metro if you can avoid it (i.e. less than three stops). Why spend all the time traveling in the dark underground when you can walk around top side and see more?

I walked around Rome the first day planning on seeing gallerias within a specific area. It didn’t take as long to walk to where I was going, the Doria Pamphilj, so I arrived early. Looking at the map to see what else was in the area, and open, I went to the Pantheon. Amazing building, I am sure that it functioned as some sort of time piece, a reverse sun dial. The picture you see here is about 930 or so. The Doria Pamphilj was first on the list, (would not go again), the Palazza Altemps (would go again), and sites such as Piazza Navona, Trevi Fountain, del Popolo and the Barberini (would go again).

I loved seeing the depictions of the females in person. There is nothing to compare to seeing them in person.

From Palazzo Altemps
From Palazzo Altemps

I left the hotel at about 745 and returned at about 1630. The whole day was spent on foot.