As I work and travel around Italy every year, I have visited many of the major museums in Italy. On my first visit to the Galleria degli Uffizi in Firenze over 25 years ago, having never formally studied Italian art history, I was simply overwhelmed. It was all too much for me. So many paintings of such great artists – I thought how can I get to know them all. Youth is impatient – I wanted to know them immediately and as I had completed a science degree I thought – oh no I should have done an Italian Art history degree!!

It has taken me many years and many trips to Italy’s famous museums to learn about Italian art and of course educating myself from many great Italian art books. I pick them at second hand book sales and now have quite a collection so if I need to know something about an Italian artist I go to my books. It has developed into a passion for genius. I have such respect for their genius – that some humans have been able to obtain such mastery in their field!! I want to fall down on my knees to pay homage to them.

The great Italian artists were all genius!! Michelangelo, Bernini, Caravaggio, Titian, Piero della Francesco, Da Vinci, – there are so many… When I gaze at Michelangelo’s “Pieta” in St. Peter’s Basilica in Roma, it brings tears to my eyes. He was such a deep, sensitive man to be able to express the grief of a mother in stone – it always stupifies me every single time. “Pieta” is such the perfect name for this statue as well. It evokes so much compassion.

A tragedy that it is now under glass and that it moved a man so much that he had to attack it with an axe many years ago to try to kill it to stop the emotion that was coming out in him!! I consider the Pieta the best sculpture in the world for all reasons as well as those principles according to sculpture. I have seen many all over the world but for a piece of stone to move one so emotionally says it all – the perfect sculpture in such an amazing place!!