I have been through my fair share of career goals. First it was novelist, then wedding planner, curator, artist, fashion designer… the list goes on. I am probably the most indecisive person ever, making planning for the future an impossibly daunting task. At school pretty much everyone seemed to know what they wanted to do, but I had absolutely no clue. I knew I loved art and history but I couldn’t see that interest leading me anywhere. I wanted to pursue a fine art degree for a long time until my teacher knocked my confidence right out the ballpark.
That was until I went to Venice. The city opened my eyes to a whole new world, stopped in time. It was like adult Disneyland to me; the magnificent houses, the domination of the canals, the architecture. It was like walking through this big historical bubble. I couldn’t wait to know more.
Next came the Doge’s Palace, probably one of the most astonishing heritage sites you could ever visit. The palace is so beautifully crafted, I could not even begin to explain it in its entirety. But one piece of artwork gave me such feels, I suddenly realised what future I was interested in.
It was Tinteretto’s Paradise. The huge painting shows figures descending through the clouds to paradise. Close up, the detail is crazy, not a single blank space appears untouched or ignored. Yet despite the quantity of people, each figure seems to take on its own individual identity. From a distance, individuals become indistinguishable, almost becoming the clouds themselves. For this reason the painting changes depending where you are stood in the Great Hall. It seemed impossible to pull my gaze away from it.
I’m atheist, so unfortunately the painting did not have its desired spiritual effect on me in the way Renaissance ideology would have expected. But regardless of religion, I had never seen a piece of artwork so meticulously designed and crafted in my short seventeen years. I had a burning desire to know more, to understand why it was in the room and why it looked like it did and what purpose it served. The work opened out a huge door of curiosity inside of me. No one even told me there were a load of other amazing Renaissance frescoes out there waiting to be discovered.
Paradise has truly shaped who I am today. It pushed my interests into a new and exciting direction. I didn’t just have to make the art but I realised that I could study the art too. It made me realise that I wanted to study history of art, and that study has taught me much about the world. So I see Paradise as the signpost of the beginnings of my career, and that is why it means so much to me. A total cliché, but it changed my life!
Written by Daniella Romano