A Fading Beauty Along the Tiber

Piazza Tevere” is a stretch of the Tiber River in the very heart of Rome.  I’ve mentioned the much-neglected Tiber before, and a terrific non-profit organization dedicating to turning that around, TEVERETERNO.

Piazza Tevere, along the Tiber River ...
Piazza Tevere, along the Tiber River

Now TEVERETERNO has really raised the stakes, and created an incredible — and gigantic — art installation at Piazza Tevere.  Artist William Kentridge has created an enormous frieze titled “Triumphs and Laments: A Project for Rome.” What is particularly fascinating is how the frieze was created: by reverse power-washing the gunk that has built up over many years on the massive travertine embankment walls that line the river.  So it’s really reverse graffiti.

Kentridge created more than 80 depictions of the history of the Eternal City that stand up to 10 meters high.  People are clearly enjoying this unique art installation as they walk, jog, or bike along the river.

Walking along the river, enjoying the art and the day ...
Walking along the river, enjoying the art and the day

 

The giant scale of the murals can be seen here
The giant scale of the murals can clearly be seen here

 

An angel ...
A Bernini angel

 

Perhaps this is Garibaldi, on his rearing charger?
Perhaps this is Garibaldi, on his rearing charger?

 

A horde stumbles ...
A horse stumbles…

 

... and rots away ...
… and trots away

 

La lupa doesn't look too well, either ...
La lupa doesn’t look too well, either

 

St. Peter, crucified upside down ...
I’m guessing this is St. Peter, crucified upside down

 

A procession of women ...
A procession of women…

 

And of men ...
… and of men

 

A soldier, next to the famous Trevi scene from La Dolce Vita, this time set in a bathtub ...
A soldier, next to the famous Trevi scene from La Dolce Vita, this time set in a bathtub

Over time, this art will fade as grime once again covers the retaining walls. I like this idea. Perhaps years in the future those massive walls will again be a clean (well, actually, dirty) slate for a new art installation.

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