Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Awards and Plein air in Subiaco & the Benedictine Monastery.

The Tuscany Plein Air team experienced a very enjoyable and rewarding Plein Air event this weekend in the Lazio region of Italy. We'd like to thank the town of Subiaco and the Benedictine monasteries for their warm welcome and for the awards they generously issued to artists.

We were honored to accept prizes for our paintings from the monastery of Saint Benedict and the town of Subiaco.

Subiaco is in the Lazio region, the Upper Aniene Valley, close to Rome. We joined 80 other artists from all over the world at the "Estemporanea di Pittura," a festival of plein air, sponsored by the town and the local religious orders. The administrators of the event was the committee of "Ora et Labora" headed by Paolo Lozzi who worked tirelessly to make sure everyone felt welcome.

Tom Byrne placed third and Rory Haran received special mention, for their Plein Air paintings, bringing home nice prize awards.
Tom J. Byrne and Rory Harans award winning paintings

Some of the artists who met on Saturday evening

The artistic competition drew 80 international participants to a beautifully orchestrated two day landscape painting event. The art venues were spread out across the historic town and between two historically and visually spectacular Benedictine monasteries, some of the most beautiful in the world.
Painting in the Piazza of Subiaco, Umbria. Llewellyn & Rory.

Setting up easels beside the monastery.
The beautiful town of Subiaco, nestling among the hills of Umbria, is a perfect painting location:

There was an international group of artists at this years event and we'd like to thank Kelly Medford, an American artist based in Rome for her help.

The people of Subiaco gave us a very warm welcome and we deeply appreciate all the help from the organisers from the monastery and the town itself. It's a fabulous venue for painting plein air.

Here is a link to the fascinating troglodyte monastery of Saint Benedict:

The Monastery of Saint Benedict is extremely beautiful and dramatic within and without. Joined to the hillside with a beautiful brick facade, it conceals the original troglodyte caves which are spectacularly decorated in fresco artworks. Rough stone rests beside beautifully painted walls and the shape of the monastery follows the downward course of the naturally occurring caves. The hand carved ceilings and the original rough walls contrast each other dramatically and despite it's great beauty, there is no way to forget that you are inside a mountain.

The alter and a ceiling inside the caves.


The light and landscape surrounding the monastery is spectacular especially in the evening and early morning. A painters paradise.
A statue of Saint Benedict in the cave where he lived and contemplated God.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Susan. I haven't entered many competitions in the past so it was a pleasant surprise especially with so many great artists there.