Toroazul Painting and Fine Arts
Aqueducts and Gates
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They say this gateway to eastern Rome -- Porta Maggiore -- received its name from
the fact that one of its thoroughfares leads directly to Santa Maria Maggiore, one of
the great Seven Churches of the city.
The charming Baker's Monument to Eurisace, a very wealthy freed slave who lived
around 30 B.C. and made a prosperous living from this trade, is a favorite location of
my colleague and friend Frank Martinez, professor at the University of
Miami/School of Architecture.
My pen&ink homage to this site probably started mentally when I went there some
three months back with Frank, but it "baked for a while" and actually took form
yesterday during a sketching walk with another friend, Mark Rabinotwitz -- sculptor
and restoration artist, presently fellow at the American Academy in Rome (2011).
Mark and I visited the Church of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme and then turned our
attention to Porta Maggiore and its connection not only to the Baker's Tomb but to
several of Rome's aqueducts -- Aqua Claudia and Aqua Anio Novus -- which both
"piggy-back" on each other to ride their waters into Rome at that point!
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Porta Maggiore and Monument to the Baker Eurisace
pen & ink
9 1/2" x  13 "
Porta Furba~~~~ruins of Aqua Claudia
pen & ink
9 1/2" x  13 "
Riding one of the two Roman subway lines from nearby San Giovanni station to
Porta Furba, one arrives in a modern suburb of the city, at one edge interlaced in a
stretch where the Aqua Claudia parallels nearby Aqua Felice aqueduct, and creating
the stunning ecological area called Aqueduct Park : il Parco degli Aquedutti.
I have no words to describe the majesty and evocative aura of these remnants of
Rome's technological past.  Some of the lone arches look like triumphal monuments
left by some great general. They pose for us, in fact, as living units or specimens of
this technology -- their time-deconstructed components revealing just how they were
stacked together out of tufa blocks, peperino, and the noble brick.
Aqua Claudia
9 1/2" x  13 "
This watercolor from Aqueduct Park shows one of the angles of the many elegant
remaining arcades of the 50 A.D.-Aqua Claudia. The small, dark, boxlike area visible
toward the top of the structure is the water conduit, lined with the silicate
"pozzolana," where the water flowed to Rome thanks to the carefully inclined
gradient of about 10 centimeters every kilometer, using gravity to create the flow.
Green technology the old fashioned way-- all'antica!