Vance Kirkland

Patina del Palatino

Patina del Palatino

Year 1960

Artist Vance Kirkland (1904–1981, American)

Media oil paint & water on linen

Dimensions 47 1/4 x 39 1/2 inches

IV. Abstract Expressionism; C. Roman Abstraction.

Kirkland Museum Founding Director & Curator Emeritus Hugh Grant notes: “This painting, Kirkland told me, is about the patina on the Palatine Hill in Rome, or grass and mud, trampled by tourists, on the Palatine Hill. And, of course, you can see references to strands of grass on the brown, muddy background. When I asked him what the white was in the painting, he first said, ‘That’s a ghost of a Roman soldier.’ When I said–‘Really?’ He laughed and said, ‘Well yes it is!–Although it’s also possible that a child dropped an ice cream cone. However I liked the idea of a ghost in my Roman abstraction and so I made an elongated, airy, white vertical area of oil paint and water. And did you notice my suggestion of a rather voluptuous Venus figure to the right of the ghost? I didn’t want the ghost, or the Venus for that matter, to be alone in my painting for all eternity.’ “

Not currently on view

Signature Signed "Kirkland 1960 (38)" lower right corner

Credit Line Collection Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art

Accession Number VK1960.38