Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Tiberias/Hotel Dona Gracia

I spent several years in Tiberias after I returned to Israel in 2008. I was fortunate enough to land a residency at the House of Dona Gracia, a Museum/Hotel dedicated to the memory of the great Dona Gracia, a Renaissance woman who was the most wealthy woman of her time. They assigned me to paint huge recreations of famous scenes of 'Teveriah Atika." An old walled city, men in turbans, robed with horses, Mount Hermon always looming in the background. Eventually I talked them into allowing me to do my antique photo to living scene magic - like colorizing an old film. I found amazing photos of Tiberias before the disappearance of the old city with its ancient walls. In the final few paintings I found myself especially drawn to the pictures featuring the folk of the time. I wanted to inhabit that space with them, I understood those walkways and paths, I too had that dirt beneath my feet, I could live those paintings.

first project

second project

third project

forth project

fifth project

sixth project

seventh project

eighth project

Fishermen on the Kinneret south of Tiberias

Hot Springs at Tiberias, 1893

The Tomb of Rabbi Meir Ba'al HaNess, 1894


man with donkey

road to Hamei Tiveriah and Rebbi Meir

the old shuk

Boat at the old dock, Tiveria

The Hotel had a beautiful dining room, the "Venice Room," on the lobby floor which was part of the Museum tour. The table was the longest  in Israel and the room had been decorated in a Venetian style such as had enhanced Dona Gracia's rooms in her time. the manager of the hotel commissioned me to recreate two important Canaletto paintings, a painter of the late sixteenth century who was extremely famous for his views of Venice. I may have put a bit of myself into the painting (you can't really avoid it), but the original paintings are so gorgeous that I merely tried to recapture something of that lost Venice that Canaletto so magically portrayed.

Venezia 1

Venezia 2