I have been asked by Terry Fitzgerald whether the painting by Galileo Chini (1873 – 1956) mentioned in RISK was a product of my imagination or actually exist. Chini was a real painter and did spend time, at the invitation of King Chulalongkorn, as a guest in Siam. Until my wife and I visited Florence last year, I had been unaware of Chini’s painting. I studied his Bangkok New Year painting carefully. Chini captured some of the exotic magic of the time, and provided me with an opportunity to develop more of the back-story of Calvino’s personal connection with Bangkok.
Here is a reproduction of Chini’s painting of Chinese New Year, Bangkok dated 1912.
The Gallery Francesca Antonacci in Rome is holding a special exhibition of Chini’s paintings 16 May – 30 June 2007. For more details: email@example.com - www.francescaantonacci.com