Bagni di Lucca Villa has three main exhibition spaces: the atrium of the town hall, the Shelley House and the pink room above the Circolo dei Forestieri – not bad for a town which counts less than 4,000 souls (6,500 if one includes the whole of the comune reaching out to the mountain villages).
On 11th June at 5 pm the following exhibition opens at the Circolo’s pink room:
Raymond Victor Lee was painter, print-maker and ceramist. Born in Leek (Staffordshire, UK) he had a distinguished career as an artist, particularly after his first trip to Italy in 1989 where he established a studio at nearby Benabbio.
(The artist drawn by his daughter Julia Alexandra Mee)
The exhibition commemorates the tenth anniversary of the artist’s death and celebrates his work which was greatly influenced by Italian architecture and the Italian landscape which he loved so much.
Regrettably, I never met Raymond although I did attend an exhibition of his work at Benabbio shortly after his decease.
As an artist Raymond Victor Lee stands very high in an area which is noted for its capacity to attract the best creative talent and I’ll certainly look forwards with great pleasure to the exhibition. There is a great structural strength in Mee’s compositions, something which only a study of his finest artistic predecessors (especially Cezanne) could have instilled.
Fortunately, Raymond’s natural artistry has been transmitted in his family. Indeed, the tradition of landscape and trompe-d’oeil decoration continues in Italy (and elsewhere, I hope). In a fine former orphanage at Benabbio there are good examples painted by Julia Alexandra Mee, daughter of the late painter. Julia continued her training at the Accademia delle Belle Arti, Florence, where she learnt traditional painting techniques such as fresco. (If you are a ‘Grapevine’ reader you’ll have read her fascinating articles on that subject).
The exhibition has been organised by the family with the help of Roberto Lucchesi (alias ‘Coco’) a fine entertainer and friend of Raymond.