Il Giardino Dipinto
Betty Woodman, American, Il Giardino Dipinto, 1993, Earthenware, glaze, epoxy resin, lacquer, and paint; 274.3 cm (108 inches) (height), Gift of Charles and Andrea Woodman Promised gift of Charles and Andrea Woodman 2005.110
This large architectural installation, Il Giardino Dipinto, was inspired by a fresco painting of the same name found in the House of the Golden Bracelet in Pompeii, a thriving ancient Roman city buried and preserved by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 CE. Incorporating the idea and history of classical vessels, the flattened vase forms and the space around them place the viewer simultaneously inside the architectural framework looking out and outside looking in. The composition is animated by the fluid contours, bold color patterns, and placement of pots, vases, shelves, and handles. By deconstructing the vessels into their various parts—-neck, body, foot, handle, spout—- Woodman underscored the functions of traditional pottery while simultaneously abstracting the forms.