Denise M Taylor

Writing Consultant I Editor I Proofreader I Teacher

Unprecedented mass surveillance and the implications for our private lives, now and into the future, are scary—invisible monsters inhabit the built environment, listening and taking note. Gardens can be our escape, however bizarre. In my mind I make a return visit to one of Italy’s most mysterious and ingenious sixteenth-century gardens: Sacre Bosco in Bomarzo, 42 miles north of Rome. […]

Categories: Musings on Art

Walking through the National Gallery of Victoria’s rooms displaying fifteenth-to-sixteenth-century European art recently, I was pleased to see the Gallery’s 2011 purchase of the painting by Correggio (Antonio Allegri, 1489–1534), ‘Madonna and Child with Infant John the Baptist’ (1514-1515), included in the ‘hang’. At the time of purchase the painting was identified as a valuable work of art with qualities that […]

Categories: Musings on Art

It’s those jaw-dropping moments we just happen upon as we drift through foreign places that make travel so exciting, and addictive. The heat was sizzling in Florence on the afternoon of 18 July 2007 when I flew through the door of the rather non-descript and gloomy Santa Felicità; it was 4.50pm, 10 minutes before closing. There it was to the […]

Categories: Musings on Art

Cavernous interiors with staircases spiralling through claustrophobic space, and derelict buildings, are often described as communicating a Piranesian mood. You can be forgiven for not having heard of Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778).  He was an Italian etcher, architect and printmaker, who achieved fame for his revolutionary etchings of real and imaginary buildings that featured ancient Roman ruins and fantastical underground […]

Categories: Musings on Art

Written in his passionate and robust style, Lord Byron described the majesty of Rome’s Pantheon (“pride of Rome!”) in his lengthy narrative poem, ‘Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage’ (1812-1818): Simple, erect, severe, austere, sublime— Shrine of all saints and temple of all gods, From Jove to Jesus—spared and blest by time; Looking tranquility, while falls or nods Arch, empire, each thing round […]

Categories: Musings on Art

January 1st 2014: time to jab a pin into my list of destinations yet to be explored. Apart from the consideration of important aspects such as available cash and security, travel to distant countries is a lot easier than a century or so ago. Today’s travel writers not only narrate their journeys through the written word but also through images […]

Categories: Musings on Art

For most of us, Christmas takes us back to our childhood: Christmas stories, dressing up as Mary or Joseph or the shepherds (with a tea-towel head covering) in the kinder nativity pageant, family gatherings indulging in traditional Christmas food, leaving out milk and cookies for Santa Claus, the Christmas tree and Christmas carols. Since the 1970s and the Vietnam War, […]

Categories: Musings on Art

The Romans gradually conquered the Greeks during the last two centuries B.C.; it was an epic confrontation—might against culture—but Rome could not remain immune to the beauty and sophistication of Hellenic art. Ancient Greek painting and mosaics have distinguishing features which the Romans borrowed and transformed into their own brand. This artistic ‘hybridisation’ by the Romans was an attempt to […]

Categories: Musings on Art

Right now, leaves are falling in my garden and the days grow colder . . . I am reminded of a day in mid-January 2009 when a wintry sky threatened rain as I approached Villa Lante in Bagnaia, about forty miles north-west of Rome.  Water is a feature of this garden which was begun by Cardinal Gambara in 1568; what […]

Categories: Musings on Art

Melburnian notable, Barry Humphries, always gives his honest opinion—often through the sharp tongue of his alter ego, Dame Edna Everage. He was less than flattering when he described the bold geometric façade of Melbourne’s Federation Square (built to commemorate Australia’s centenary in 2001) as “getting used to leprosy”. Others consider Fed Square to be a dynamic meeting place on the […]

Categories: Musings on Art