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The Capriccio

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A natural corollary to painting en plein air is inventing the capriccio landscape in the studio. These reinterpretations of familiar and unfamiliar places transform the real into the fantastical. For me they are also opportunities to invest an allegorical meaning in an architectural landscape.

I contributed two chapters to Lucien Steil's collection of essays The Architectural Capriccio: Memory, Fantasy and Invention (Routledge). Wikipedia cites my definition of four themes of the capriccio.

Watch the video below to see a capriccio idea emerge...

Capriccio Veneziano, invented in Procreate on an iPad

The novelty in painting doesn’t mainly consist in a subject never before seen, but in a good and new arrangement and expression, such that from being ordinary, and old, it becomes unique, and new.

—Nicholas Poussin quoted in G. P. Bellori, Le vite dei pittori

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