This is a painting of the BAR in Ariccia. Simon and I had been for a long bike ride around lake Nemi and got caught in a storm. A variety of chatty women squeezed in with us to escape the hail. It’s a small place and we merrily drank very thick hot chocolate together and talked about the virus. One lady said she would go to Rome now that there were no tourists. She hadn’t been for about twenty years.
That was 18 days ago. She didn’t know the following day would be the start of the lockdown.
There are two matching fountains in the lovely piazza. They are full of tears.
You have probably seen the news. Over 900 Italians died yesterday. Pope Francis came out alone and prayed in vast rainy piazza. A tiny white figure in the dark echoing space. I think that image will stay in my memory for the rest of my life. As I type this letter to you, the screen blurs through my tears. (Good thing I can touch type).
The fountain painting belongs to Libby in Boston now. I hope those fountains will soon flow with tears of joy.
I painted a watercolour for you, but it’s quite boring. I may post it later when I feel braver.
Happy birthday Lucy Liu. (A friend in Modena)