Description by the artist
I imagined the atmosphere as it must have been when Sicily was inhabited by the Siceliots, aka the Greeks of Sicily, in this beautiful theater with Etna and the Gulf of Naxos as spectacular scene. Everything is antiquity … The creation of the earth with its puff of burning passion. The solid and warm walls of the beautiful Greek theater. Taormina. The artwork, painted in oil on canvas, is three-dimensional as it contains real volumes created by the mixed material.
The original title of the painting is “Teatro di fuoco”.
Details and dimensions
The artwork in the Sicilian culture
Taormina is a village known throughout the world for its extraordinary beauty due to a series of features that make it unique: it is a balcony overlooking the sea with unique landscape elements, such as the spectacular view of both Etna and the Gulf of Naxos; it preserves ancient monuments unique in the world, such as the famous Greek Theatre (III BC); the town, lying in a slightly elevated position with respect to the coast, is a mixture of medieval flair, Arab and Sicilian with a very particular charm. That glamorous atmosphere that has eternally characterized its history, making Taormina the preferred destination of travelers and celebrities of every age, seems to have never left this enchanting place in Sicily. Etna, the highest volcano in Europe (3300 meters above sea level), imperiously dominates the eastern part of Sicily, but it is so huge that it can be seen up to hundreds of kilometers away. Men of all ages have climbed to the top starting with the philosopher Empedocle from Agrigento (V B.C.) who, according to legend, ended his life by throwing himself into it. The toponym (Aitna) seems to derive from some word whose etymology, leads back to the meaning “I burn”. For the Arabs of Sicily (IX-XI century) it was a mountain twice as high and they called it Mons (mount) Gebel (mountain), twice a mountain; and until the recent past (but also today) the Sicilians called it Mongibello. But its Sicilian name par excellence is: “a muntagna”. It has given work to the nivalori (that they collected the snow, they preserved it in the caves of the volcano and then they sold it in the villages), to the coalmen, to the gatherers of the Ginestra (excellent for the bakers).
(photo) Etna volcano and Taormina by Jean Houel, 1776