The action begins in the late spring of 1560, at the end of a century ravaged by wars and great historical and religious changes. In that decline, the Venetian painter Tiziano Vecellio is caught in his studio, in front of the sketched canvas of The Abduction of Europa, “intent on observing, with his eyes and mind, what he had painted using those brush strokes as if a great enemy were standing there before him.”
disenchanted Master, now seventy-years-old, is waiting for the visit of the “painter
of angels”, a mysterious artist who had just arrived in
. There had already been much talk
about this unknown artist and his incredible gifted artwork which was so
sublime as to have earned him the title of “Painter of Angels”. Tiziano senses
a foreboding danger to his position, fame and standing, won over a lifetime of
service to princes and popes. In fact, his unerring intuition hits the mark:
the arrival of the young artist does upset both the professional and private life
of Tiziano and will throw him and his beliefs into inner conflict. In a
dramatic crescendo with blows of supreme art, fierce rivalry, spiritual
revelations, the duel between the two artists will shift from Venice to
Bergamo, and back to Venice, until the unexpected, double ending that will add
the last brush stroke to the masterpiece. Venice
"The Abduction of Europa" by Tiziano Vecellio 1559-1562
Boston, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
Notes of the author:
Writing is a mysterious process. We never know where the characters come from, as they come alive in our stories. The decisions that guide them, the actions they perform or the plots they are involved in, due to their own will or their apparent destiny, gradually unfold. Some images seem to derive from our own dreams: we fall asleep bearing in mind a particular story, then we awake to find out that our dead point has found a solution. While we are half asleep, we see scenes we later use in our tales, so well-finished that they seem to be created just for us, and we ask ourselves where they have come from. We get other ideas from books or films: a situation or even a sentence may strike a chord in us and resonate in our spirit with such an intensity that we immediately make them our own. We also have the so-called “déjà vu” phenomena: we arrive in a place and everything seems to talk in an ancient voice. It speaks from the outside, in its geography, but resonates through our inner core.
"Self-portrait" by Tiziano Vecellio (1566)
Prado, Madrid: another picture
mentioned in the novel
All these experiences have a common thread, which derive from our “eternal past”, a beautiful definition which I recently came across in a book. That eternal past is our shared past: it is the number of times that we have already appeared on this earth, in other incarnations and over our courses of birth, life and death. That heritage of experiences and memories is never lost, but remains safely locked inside us, even during the life we are living now. It lies buried in the depths of our mind, dormant. But when a situation, a sentence, a person, so similar to the ones we have been through, heard or met in our past lives, presents itself, it may awaken a memory with unexpected clarity and shock, like an earth tremor.
For many people these awakened memories are destined to fall into the darkness of mind and they go back to sleep again with no effect (“Li diritti occhi torse allora in biechi, Guardommi un poco, e poi chinò la testa: cadde con essa al par delli altri ciechi” Dante Alighieri – Canto VI Inferno. Twisting his gaze, he let his squint stay - On me awhile, then bent his head - And fell down where his blind companions lay” Dante Alighieri – Canto VI Hell). In those who have the gift to express themselves through the various forms of human artistic talent, it can take the shape of a novel, a poem, a painting, music... and is recorded in black and white, or translated into images or sounds. But the possible origin of these forms of expression, or past lives, continues to remain an unknown or neglected phenomenon.
The Painter of Angels is one of those stories. It is about an elevated soul who becomes embodied on earth to carry a spiritual message to a famous painter, Tiziano Vecellio. This soul, a painter himself, is a very handsome young man, but poor, illiterate and of a candour that is very near to stupidity according to earthly standards, the exact opposite of the great Tiziano. The arrival of this young man deeply upsets the old painter, who is subsequently torn by the affection towards him and the desire to destroy him as a rival. In the book, a mixture of reality and the invisible, we discover characters of different social and spiritual levels, placed in scenes that are like paintings. These characters and the scenes came to me from an unknown source which I have recently discovered to be my past lives, or the lives of members of my spiritual family. Acting unconsciously, I have taken scenes from my past lives and adapted them to the story, or the persons I met many many years ago. I made them act on the basis of their spiritual “humus”; and in 2005 the novel was ready in its definitive form.
When the time for me had arrived, I was granted with the grace to know the truth and I have still not found the suitable words to express my gratitude for such a grace (“You will know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” – John – 8,32). Today, the great difference is all in the awareness concerning the origins of this story, not in the literary result which is for you to judge. I present you with this new awareness and this story, in the hope that both of them can bring you some of the joy and wonder they have brought to me.