On a balmy spring morning in
2004, I sat on the broad window ledge in my tiny hotel room in
Vienna, admiring the huge copper dome of St. Peterís. I had
stopped in the city for a day after visiting my home across
the river. The air echoed with cathedral bells and the loud
cooing of pigeons. I was happy, ready to return to America and
to my family.
As an independent art historian and painter, I live at once in
the past and the present. Whether in my native Bratislava, the
capital of Slovakia, in New York City, where I landed forty
years ago with my eyes glued to the Statue of Liberty, or in
Kingston, Ontario, where I shared my love of art with the
students of Queenís University, I have always been drawn to
the past, wanting to know more about it and hoping somehow to
relive it through art history and my own paintings.
It wasn't difficult to chose the subject of my dissertation at a time when I wondered why, and how, artists born north of the Alps, a huge natural barrier to traverse in the Renaissance, arrived in the new cradle of art, Rome.
These were questions,
with so many answers that are still with me, as I write these
But when my mind isnít walking the cobblestone streets of
sixteenth-century Rome and creating stories of people of that
era, my greatest pleasures in life center around my family and
friends, my home, my painting, and Ö my flowers. Flowers are
everywhere in my life. (View
photos of Eva's garden.) They speak to me of my European roots;
of the lonely white snowdrops on the banks of the Danube; of
colorful tulip carpets in Vienna; of bright poppies lining the
Tuscan countryside; and of the golden-yellow dandelions
popping their heads early in the spring, right here in
Princeton where I live today with my husband Glenn.
a way, flowers and my garden bridge the past and the present
for me. As I kneel in my garden and feel the warmth of the
soil I see life reborn, a Renaissance of sorts. It is then I
want to believe that the world is good and God created all
creatures equaljust as I profess in Maddalena.