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Yvonne Melchers lived and worked near Siena, Italy, on and off, for fifteen years. That important life period inevitably inspired her to paint its people, culture, and landscapes, and also deeply influenced her expression of bright colors and sunny Mediterranean light. Her series, entitled Siena Palio, is a celebration of the Palio di Siena, a horse race that has been held twice yearly since 1287.

A pageant, the Corteo Storico, precedes the race, where modern-day Italian boys and men dress up in wigs and traditional costumes for the historical procession, carrying colorful banners representing a particular district of the city of Siena. Fascinated by this medieval event, Melchers pays tribute to it by superbly capturing the portraits of these smart Italians showing off their beautiful regalia, as well as the alluring sensuality, pride, and passion expressed on their handsome faces. The Siena Palio series is Melchers’ tribute to her beloved Siena, and is marked by the exquisitely detailed depiction of extravagantly patterned or embroidered fabrics in a kaleidoscope of dazzling colors. (Lorena Kloosterboer, from her essay Kloosterboer on Melchers, published at Medium.com in June 2020. A link to this essay can be found on the links page of this website).

Yvonne is still working on this series.

For more information about the Palio of Siena check www.ilpalio.org.

October 2020

Yvonne Melchers

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