Tales of Italy

Since 1978 Charles H. Cecil has lived in Florence where he devotes his time to portraiture, landscape and figure painting. He began teaching the atelier method in 1983 and has since trained an international body of students. Cecil graduated with honours in Classics and Art History at Haverford College before graduate studies at Yale. He then received grants from the Greenshields Foundation to study painting with R. H. Ives Gammell in Boston and Richard F. Lack in Minneapolis.
Charles H. Cecil Studios was recently awarded the Excellence in Art Education Award by the Portrait Society of America.

The Charles H. Cecil Studios occupies the most historic Florentine atelier still in active use. Located near the medieval Porta San Frediano, the Chiesa di San Raffaello Archangelo was adapted as a studio complex by Lorenzo Bartolini in the early nineteenth century. Bartolini, pupil of Jacques-Louis David and colleague of J. A. D. Ingres, was one of the renowned sculptors of his day. The first American sculptor in marble Horatio Greenough received his training on these premises in the 1820's.

By mid-century the atelier had passed to Bartolini's assistant Pasquale Romanelli, and has since witnessed generations of artistic activity. The vast nave of the former church, lo stanzone, houses the Galleria Romanelli, an outstanding collection of casts and monumental statuary.

Charles Cecil's Studio in Florence is a hive of activity and a place of great inspiration. There is a lot to be learned from Charles and his team. I spent 2 summers in Florence in 2004 and 2005, attending this wonderful atelier.

That was also an opportunity to attend things like The Verona Opera Festival and the Puccini Festival and to eat well and enjoy the laid-back experience of living in the 'Oltrarno' (the old quarter of Florence on the south side of the river Arno)

You can see a gallery of some of Charles' own work here

A collage of some of the aspiring artists that Charles Cecil took under his wing in 2004 and 2005
They came from all over the world - from the UK, Holland, Germany, Hawaii, Brazil

Some works from my time in Firenze


oil on Italian linen Canvas.Florence, Italy, July 2005

"The Astrophysicist"

oil on Italian linen Canvas.Florence, Italy, July 2005

"Teresa in Ecstacy"

Cast drawing in charcoal Florence, Italy, July 2004