Travels in Antiquity

 

ROB, a Dutch painter living in Saint Saturnin-lès-Apt, France, draws his inspiration from ancient sites. He is particularly interested in the Villa Adriana in Tivoli, Italy, a reflection of the travels of the Roman emperor Hadrian (117-138 AD) and a tribute to his lover Antinoüs, who tragically drowned in the Nile in 130 AD.

 

As with Marguerite Yourcenar, who was inspired by Villa Adriana to write her novel "The Memoirs of Hadrian", these ancient ruins are for ROB an inexhaustible source of beauty, confrontation and inspiration, such as the golden rain that Zeus aroused to seduce and fertilize Danaé, mother of the hero Perseus who killed the Medusa. 

 

This myth vividly symbolizes ROB's relationship with this ancient site. Danaé embodies fertility and this myth illustrates the fertility of the earth just as Villa Adriana is a fertile place for ROB's imagination.

 

ROB's pictorial journey continues in other ancient sites such as Paestum where the magic of Greek temples still operates and which prolongs his meditation on the past, the trace and the relationship between spectacle and spectator.

 

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