Oreste Albertini (my grandfather), "Self Portrait," 1940-45

Oreste Albertini (my grandfather), Self Portrait, 1940-45

It is an odd thing for me to be the same age now as you are in the picture. There have been more or less just as many years between today and the day you were buried, with your head on a pillow I had embroidered with blue thin chains. I was seven then. Here your profile is parallel to the painting on the easel, the painting parallel to the mountains and the landscape’s reflections. This photograph is so clearly composed, framing the scene. There is such a vivid foreground that the background fades like a mirage, and puts my mind on a seesaw; indifferent to the natural scene, almost choked by the certainty I can still read your mind. The space, the colors of depth, the coarseness of rocks are seemingly immaterial. Painting was more than nature for you; it was space in the form of time. Although your hand holding the brush is now a ghost hand, your paintings are not, and neither is the blue bond unfathomable.

Rosanna Albertini, Writer


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