Landscape watercolour of an Italian city, probably Spoleto, by Betty Di San Marzano, dated 1957.
Size: frame 47 x 38 cm; watercolour approx 35 x 25 cm.
Condition: Some wear to the frame with chips and scratches, glass cracked in the lower right corner. Some dirt under the frame. Picture is in good condition.
Bettine Brodribb Di San Marzano (1903-1987) was an English artist, who lived in Italy with her family during the WWII.
From the book about the artist: “A Game Called Survival: The Story of Betty di San Marzano and Her Children in Wartime Italy“, Ian Reid From, 1980.
“On 8 September 1943 Italy concluded an Armistice with the Allies and was officially no longer fighting on the side of the Germans. But the wartime troubles of Betty di San Marzano, an Englishwoman married to an Italian and living near Spoleto, and her four children were only just beginning. In danger from both the German forces and revengeful local fascists, they had to leave their home and take refuge in a cramped loft in a tiny hamlet, and live a hand-to-mouth existence with the local peasants. Only to her eldest son could Betty explain the danger they were in: to the other children it must appear to be only a game — a game called survival.
lan Reid follows the fortunes and vicissitudes of the San Marzano family throughout the turbulent events of 1943 and 1944 and tells of their often amusing, sometimes dangerous adventures helping escaped prisoners-of-war to rejoin the Allied forces, their return home only to flee again to escape the retreating German army, and the part they played in the almost farcical liberation of Spoleto. How Betty managed to keep her family together, and safe, despite the very real difficulties and dangers makes a delightful and heart-warming story.”