To me, art is so much more than decoration. It brings life to a space, it tells a story, and it is a window into people’s identities. Today, I’m sharing three of my favorite pieces of artwork in my home. 

First is a painting of my husband, Bill. It was painted about ten years ago by a Florentine friend, Massimo Giannoni. Massimo is mostly known for his paintings of buildings, but when I came across the one painting he had done of a person, I fell in love with it. I immediately asked Massimo if he would paint Bill, and I was thrilled when he agreed. Bill and I went to his studio, and Massimo took photos of Bill at different angles to capture his look and his manner. He then spent a few months working on the painting, and he revealed it to us on our next trip to Florence. I think he captured my husband perfectly! I had just two edits: I wanted a gold wedding ring on Bill’s finger and a book to represent his love of the written word. The painting is blurred around the edges, and I call it Unfinished Business. Bill is always working on a project and is often in a flurry, so it feels like the perfect title and depiction of my wonderful husband. 

This painting is by a pair of brothers, Roberto and Rodolfo Guarnieri. Bill and I first discovered their work one winter afternoon in Florence. We had stopped at the Hotel Regency for a drink, and we noticed several beautiful paintings by a new-to-us artist duo, Roberto and Rodolfo Guarnieri. The paintings were of wine and champagne glasses and beautiful, bold poppies. We inquired with our waiter and left with the artists’ business card in hand. Right after, we happened upon the Ferragamo hotel, and all along the outside wall to the entrance were more Guarnieri paintings. It felt like a sign, and we soon went to the brothers’ studio. We fell in love with a black-and-white painting of the Duomo, and I love how those two pure colors manage to capture the feeling of lightness, darkness, sun, and sky. We knew this is what we wanted to purchase to remember our happy times in Florence. 

A photograph taken by Alessandro Taddei hangs over our mantle. Alessandro was the creator of VIETRI’s flagship holiday dinnerware, Old St. Nick, and he did all the illustrations for the Old St. Nick children’s books. He is also a talented photographer, and this photo of the Ponte Vecchio stirs something in my soul. He reproduces his photos hundreds of times to create the three-dimensional effect, and the colors here evoke the atmosphere of a late afternoon for me. This photograph of a city I consider to be my second home is one of my favorite things in my Chapel Hill home. 

Which one is your favorite? Where have you found your favorite pieces of art? 

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