INTRODUCTION In Italy, the ancient art of painting on asphalt is being revived.
GV People drawing and painting Madonna in square in Camaiore
CU Woman painting Madonna from photograph PAN TO man drawing
CU ZOOm OUT Painting TO artists at work
CU PAN FROM Photograph in magazine TO artist copying same
CU Crayon sketch of Madonna
SV & CU Child drawing in chalk (2 shots)
GV Tourists looking at paintings and drawings
CU Painting in modern style showing Christ, Madonna heads near building
CU ZOOM OUT Madonna and child (modern style)
CU Christ and Angels
CU ZOOM OUT Painting of infant Jesus with Mary and Joseph
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Background: INTRODUCTION In Italy, the ancient art of painting on asphalt is being revived. For the past three years, large numbers of pavement artists have gathered in the northern town of Camaiore near Viareggio for a festival of their art. For centuries, the Madonnari, or travelling artists, journeyed throughout Italy expressing their religious faith in colourful drawings from the scriptures. But in recent years, their activities have been restricted by law. Now, under the patronage of local authorities, the Madonnari are once again flourishing.
SYNOPSIS: The revival of the Madonnari began with a dream by two Padua journalists to establish an annual festival of pavement art, and to seek reform of the penal code declaring pavement artists to be beggars. They chose Camaiore as the site of their festival, and established an award to encourage the art -- the "Golden Giotto", named after a 14th century Italian painter.
This year the Camaiore festival had a slightly different emphasis. The painters had been asked to help provide icons for churches in Southern Italy which were damaged in last year's earthquake. For this reason, the artists put their chalk and brushes to an unaccustomed use -- pictures on large wooden panels for transport to churches in Southern Italy.
Large numbers of painters came from all over Italy to take part in the festival. For three days they bent over their work, producing colourful pictures of Christ, St. Francis, and various Madonnas, drawn in both traditional and modern styles.
One painter produced Christ and the Angels, another the infant Jesus with Mary and Joseph -- both were part of a tradition going back centuries, and now as strong as ever.