Tag Archives: Montone

The Italian Wedding Garden


Garden View from Montone – Watercolour and ink 53 cm x 31 cm

This wedding present features the Italian garden where the happy couple got married. It is next door to the ex-San Francesco Church in Montone. A beautiful location with lots of trees to shade the guests and a spectacular view behind.

garden-view-20Views from Montone

From this lofty position you can see across the Val Tiberina towards Trestina, Fabbrecce and the hill top monastery of Canoscio. In the distance is the little village of Lugnano and on the horizon the omnipresent Monte Santa Maria Tiberina.

Painting the landscape

The garden itself features three distinctive trees, two birch and a large palm tree. Between these is a bench. I liked this as a metaphor for married life, two becoming one and looking out on the bright new future with the sun raining down. Corny of course but I think it makes for a nice composition too.

If you’d like your special place captured in watercolour or think it would make a perfect wedding gift, drop me a line at travellingcontent@gmail.com



Painting Old Montone in Italy

Caporali Montone

Montone, Umbria
Watercolour and ink, 50cm x 30cm (Sold)

It’s always nice when you sell artworks but to sell a piece twice in less than 24 hours is special. It was just too late for Jeff who wanted my painting of Montone. However, after a meeting, a lovely lunch and a walk around Montone we came up with an idea for a new painting.

Caporali Montone Large

Madonna della Miscordia

Jeff mentioned that in the local museum there was a medieval banner by the artist Bartolomeo Caporali. The painting of the “Madonna della Miscordia”, was completed in 1482 and beneath the canopy of the Madonna’s brightly coloured cloak there is an image of Montone.

The banner was used to provide protection against the plague and towering over Montone you can see a scythe weilding, Grim Reaper, getting ready to level the town.

Medieval Montone painting

Montone circa 1482

A view of St Francis' Church

A view of St Francis’ Church

There are a number of interesting features in the painting which after all these years are still present today.

Clearly visible is the St Franciscan church, the Del Verziere Gate and the clock tower. Although long since vanished is the crumbling remains of Braccio Fortebraccio’s fortress but many of the formidable town walls are still standing.

Del Verziere Gate

Del Verziere Gate

Whilst not represented in the original painting, the church at the bottom of the hill is dedicated to St Gregorio who is also the patron saint of the town. Having been built around 1,000 AD it would have been standing when Caporali painted Montone.

The fields and woods that populate the painting are not the exact replication of any particular view point. Instead they are taken from around the area and are fitted into a pleasing composition that captures the spirit of Montone’s landscape.

Montone landscape

Montone landscape

If you drive around the hillsides you’ll see the olive groves, the clusters of fir trees and ploughed fields. There are distant farms on the hill tops and the distinctive Monte Acute, behind Umbertide, is ever present.

I found it fascinating that an image of this picturesque  Umbrian town, painted over 530 years ago, still has many of the original features present. And that the landscape has a familiar feel to it. I wonder whether in another 500 years the scene will still be a peaceful and tranquil.


The Town of the Strong Arm – Montone

Bracchio Fortebracchio

Watercolor and ink
50cm x 30cm (For Sale)

Montone is listed in the 100 most beautiful villages of Italy. It first came to fame under Braccio Fortebraccio (Armstrong), who took on all comers and won. Making the town his base he controlled much of the local countryside down as far as Perugia.

Montone for Neal 010Montone is also famous for the Umbria Film Festival, established by Monte Pythons’ Terry Gilliam and run each July, outside in the main piazza. Its fame grows each year and attracts film glitterati from around the world. Colin Firth’s wife is also said to have been born here and he is occasionally seen around the narrow streets. The town itself creeps up on you as you wind your way up the hill towards its gates. Hidden away from the main highway and surrounded by the wooded slopes there are glimpses of it through the trees, then suddenly you round a corner and it’s there.

Montone 033 Sitting atop its hill, from certain angles, Montone is a deceptively long town and editing it to fit the format required a little creative thinking. Three early versions lay screwed up on the floor in frustrated angst. For the best views however, take one of the little white roads up into the hills opposite and you can look down on it in all it’s glory.

Prints of the original are available here  🙂