Studying in art-steeped Italy, UNH students visit museums, see the masters--and then paint Roman ruins, graffiti-covered walls and sun-drenched hillsides.

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Halfway down the back side of the "boot" of Italy lies the ancient city of Ascoli Piceno, where for six years the UNH-in-Italy program has been offering an array of courses in both semester-abroad and summer programs.

The most beautiful part of Albertinelli's "The Visitation of Mary and Elizabeth" (above) at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence was "the interaction between the two figures," says Erin Murray '09G. "In art, the way you learn to be good is to copy people who have done it the best way. You can pull in references to art history. When people look at it, they realize you're sort of quoting other people."

Last year, after serving as the program's resident director during the spring 2007 semester, Mara Witzling, professor of art history, proposed the idea of offering a combined studio art and art history course. Jennifer Moses, an associate professor of art who had previously taught painting classes for UNH-in-Italy, was enthusiastic.

On these and the following pages are paintings and photos by some of the 13 undergraduate and graduate students who participated in the new course, which gave them a chance to view great works of art in places such as Venice, Florence and Rome; to paint their own work while based in Ascoli Piceno; and to write about the experience. Witzling and Moses called it "Painting Italy in Context."

VIEWPOINT: "We were offered a day in the country, in neighboring Spinetoli," says Mara Witzling, professor of art history, "a chance to paint the olive-treed and vine-covered landscape near a farmhouse." Above, Amanda Rusilas '10.
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