Shades Of Wine
She has managed to create the vision underpinning Oscar Wilde's "The Picture of Dorian Gray", finding a way to "age" a painting on the canvas by making the most of the natural attributes of the oxidation of wine.
This news quickly spread around the world, from China to Russia, taking this Tuscan-made expression to information and opinion sites across the five continents.
The latest new thing from the Florentine painter Elisabetta Rogai is called EnoArte, a pictorial technique that consists in using red wine instead of paint, creating artworks that change shade with the passing of time, ranging from typically young colours (purple, aubergine and crimson) to more "aged" ones (brick, amber and orange).
This is a process that takes many years in a cellar, but only a few months on canvas. The painter encountered this phenomenon while she was making some artworks with wine, using a technique that had never been used before.
Various artists had in fact tried their hand at this venture, attempting to use red wine to make paintings, but the outcome had never proved to be fully satisfactory.
Every attempt had been hindered with technical obstacles: the density of the wine, the volatility of the alcohol, the obvious limitation of the colour palette, and the need to restrict works to small canvases.
Extensive research and experimentation was needed, but wine-made paintings now exist.
Rogai's wine masterpieces are created on normal canvases, but with red wine only, apart from the initial sketch in "fusaggine" (a charcoal crayon made from burnt vine-shoots) to outline the figures.
There are no added colours or other synthetic components: just 100% wine, which, since it's natural, ages on the canvas, reproducing the evolution of wine that takes place in the bottle. For the frames, space is instead made for wood taken from old casks.
So that the ageing process doesn't go on indefinitely, Rogai has come up with a water- and glue-based fixing system that, while allowing the shades to alter, stops the colours from fading beyond a certain point.
The artist has currently completed a set of 15 paintings (the procedure takes longer than normal because more time is needed between one "coat" and the next) presented in Montepulciano, Peccioli, Canelli, Lucca and Montalcino and continued with a live demonstration at Vinitaly in Verona (at the Rocca delle Macie stand) and at events in Tuscany and Le Marche.
Over the next few months (after coverage in “The Times” and “The Huffington Post”), the artist's first international exhibition will be held, beginning with VivaVinoLA in Los Angeles.