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FAD Magazine covers contemporary art – News, Exhibitions and Interviews reported on from London

Inspired by Lake Como: Nancy Cadogan’s timeless paintings

A setting sun casting a pink glow over the hills that feels too perfect to exist outside of a postcard or mountains peeking out between fluffy clouds like something out of Lord of the Rings. You wouldn’t imagine such views exist in real life until you visit Lake Como – there’s a reason it’s a popular tourist hotspot. 

Historically it’s been an inspiration for writer Mary Shelley and poet William Wordsworth, and it continues to inspire through the paintings of Nancy Cadogan who captures the beauty and magic of the lake and the areas around it. 

The artist has a deep personal association with the lake having first visited over 20 years ago with her then boyfriend, now husband, and that comes through in the paintings which include a mix of the natural beauty and figurative works with olives, a glass of wine or a pot of coffee on the table nearby – reflecting Cadogan’s own life when she’s by the lake. 

There’s a quietude to her works with a person in deep reflection with a lone blackbird for company – for me it reminds us that nature is always speaking to us if we would only stop and listen, and that’s signified well by the blackbird, a bird that has a beautiful song but one we often dismiss given how common it is. 

In the town of Bellagio, on the shores of Lake Como and where Cadogan’s paintings are showing, it’s anything but quiet. The large number of tourists including day trippers swarm the streets to capacity and while you can’t fault them for wanting to see the beautiful views while licking a gelato, it means the town has become a desired destination but not necessarily a cultural one. Nancy Cadogan’s exhibition at Torre delle Arti is aiming to change that as she’s the first international artist to show at the recently refurbished venue. 

It’s the perfect choice given how much the area means to her and time will tell if it brings in a more varied crowd to the town. There’s no question that Lake Como is a beautiful destination, steeped in history including the beautiful interiors of Villa Carlotta, and many beautiful gardens – it’s great to be able to add contemporary art to that mix. 

The scenery around Lake Como makes you feel at one with nature, and the towering mountains make us feel insignificant within a landscape that predates us and will still be here long after we’re gone. It’s easy to lose ourselves as we reflect on our time here on Earth, and it’s this very sense of timelessness that Nancy Cadogan has captured in her paintings.  

‘Stanza’ by Nancy Cadogan is on at Torre delle Arti, Bellagio until 5th August. Entrance is free. 



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