When I entered the archaeological area of TRAJAN's MARKETS
in old Rome to sketch from up close the various levels of the
site surrounding the Forum side of the Torre delle Milizie,
(CLICK here to read about
Nero's Tower ),
I was struck by what is arguably one of the loveliest elements
of the entire Market area, the facades of the "taberna"
or commercial storefronts of the market center.
Wall remnants
made out of tufa
blocks in front of
the exedra. (The
arch shapes on
bottom level are
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The "taberna" of Trajan's Markets
Toroazul Painting and Fine Arts
La Taberna Romana
Although most of the storefront thresholds have lost their rich marble covering from
Imperial days, their the brickwork "explains" their form and heightens the experience of
their elegant simplicity. While working out the various parts and proportions of the
doorway, I thought about how the rectangular balcony above and the square lintel and
trim around the old door of the taberna below complemented the two round arches on
each level : the old romance of the circle and the square ! And my having selected but a
small, limited moment of the immense Market area, helped me to have confidence in my
line work and in my own powers of concentration. The ample areas of white around the
subject allow the lines to have more voice in the overall page of the composition.

Below are other studies conducted at the MARKETS.
Pen & ink
doodles of the
round exedra
pavement with
human figures,
columns, and
also with Torre
delle Milizie in
Sepia and black
pencil study of
the loggia of
the Knights of