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CONTEXT: A painting by Erin Murray '09G. Murray says she and Kathi Smith '08 spent eight hours in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. They stood, she says, "in front of the paintings and talked about them in the context of art history and the painting."

Anna Scalera '00, left, Grace Cunniff '09, Mara Witzling (in rear) and Susan Christiansen, a Keene State student, pause on a street.

In Arezzo, the group viewed frescoes by Piero della Francesca. "He was one of the first to use color in a different way, the negative form," says Anna Scalera '00. "Positive form is someone's arms, and negative form is the space around their arms."

LAYERS: The Piazza del Popolo, below left in a painting by Kathi Smith '08, is built over Roman ruins; it's possible it was the site of a Roman forum. "Everyone is outside all the time, and as I was painting, people kept coming up and saying hi," she says. "There's so much interaction and life happening."

A painting of rooftops by Smith.

COMFORT ZONE: "Being in Italy pushes your boundaries, makes you uncomfortable at first," says Jason Bombaci '07. "It's been a great center of art for a long time. It's helpful, going to see these masterpieces and then looking at your own work."

See more paintings from the "Painting Italy in Context" program

See more photos from the "Painting Italy in Context" program

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