Sadly, this year's travel plans have been supplanted with overdue home projects, including the hanging and cataloging of my personal collection of paintings and other artwork. So this summer, in lieu of an overseas getaway, I could only gaze wistfully at framed pictures as I hung them—many of them reminding me of my favorite travel destinations (and vacations gone by). Let me share a few of them with you. Alas, this shall be the extent of my romantic journeys for Summer 2020. On the whole, I have little to complain of. In the meantime, I'll enjoy a few more "little journeys,' gazing at my pictures of my favorite places.
Here's another Neapolitan "Grand Tour Souvenir," this one painted a bit earlier (circa 1750 - 1850). But, instead of the classic Northward "collector view" of the expansive Bay of Naples (with Vesuvius smoldering in the background) this rendering looks Southward to the smaller Bay of Pozzuoli, adjacent to and to the west of the larger Neapolitan Bay. In ancient times, Pozzuoli was a prosperous trading port—first under the Greeks, then the Romans. In Roman times, it was a popular (and very chic) resort area called Baiae, known for its hedonism. Roman Emperors Pompey, Julius Caesar, Augustus Caesar and Hadrian all had villas here (where Hadrian died in his vacation home). The castle shown in the painting is the Castello Aragonese, built in the 15th Century upon the ruins of earlier castles. Aragon, of course, refers to Spain—a country which had great influence (and sometime control) over Naples and Sicily.
This picture was a gift to me and Bob from Ned Kell and Buddy McCarthy, the late proprietors of "Treasures & Trifles," my neighboring antique shop on Bleecker Street. They loved Grand Tour objets, and they knew how much Bob and I loved Italy. I also loved them and learned so much from them about the antiques business, often just by sitting with them and listening to their years of stories. God bless them.
Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well! Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (www.LEOdesignNYC.com).
We also can be found in Pittsburgh's historic "Strip District" at Mahla & Co. Antiques (www.mahlaantiques.com) or in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (www.antiquecenterofstrabane.com).
Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only). 917-446-4248