Francesco Trombadori’s studio at Villa Strohl Fern

April 11, 2011

The daughter of Italian painter Francesco Trombadori, Donatella, guided me through the studio-home of her father at Villa Strohl Fern, which remains unchanged fifty years after the painter’s death. Francesco Trombadori moved in the villa in 1919, so Donatella and her brother Antonello were born and grew up there. I was very happy to find out that Trombadori’s painting “Il Viale Grande” dated 1920 that I was looking for, was kept here, displayed on an easel (Donatella told me that it was the one used by baron Strohl).

If one can try to stop time and retain the spirit of a place by keeping things unchanged,  I also like the fact that a garden is alive and can’t be prevented from growing and evolving. I will keep on looking in today’s garden for what remains of the spirit, the Genius Loci of Villa Strohl Fern, despite all the changes and things which disappeared since the early XXth century : lakes, fountains, grottos, the pineta which became a tennis court…

I took pictures of the view from the windows of the studio, like I have done before at Rainer Maria Rilke’s place, and managed to catch a reflection of the garden on a 1950 nude painting by Francesco Trombadori hanging on a wall…

I will soon go back to visit Mrs Trombadori who comes here every afternoon, and will listen to her, telling stories of the times when Villa Strohl Fern was an artists’ colony.




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