i Vespri Siciliani

This painting depicts a scene outside the Church of the Holy Spirit in Palermo, Sicily. The style I chose to work with is similar to an older piece I did, using Italian history as a reference point. From there, the interpretation of events isn’t as clear and my narrative devices take over. The scene shows a common Sicilian man tired and on his knees after a struggle with a French-Sicilian noble. The nuns in the background, as well as the church, are meant to reinforce not only their location, but to draw a distinction that even those in the employ of the State were disgusted by the reign of Charles, a foreign tyrant.

Other production notes include a conscious decision to have the majority of the piece created with a grey monochrome and to have a shock of yellow color for the lettering. I also used the yellow to give the piece some vibrancy and cast aside what would’ve been an easier decision to use black, red, or white. The title of this painting and the typeset on it pulls directly from Giuseppe Verdi’s opera, i Vespri Siciliani :

E sorse il giorno alfin
che di novelli oltraggi
lo colmi il, fier nemico,
ond’ei si desti e s’armi la sua mano!

And the day has come at last
when our fierce enemy perpetrates
such brutality that the people
are forced to rise and take up arms!


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