The Italian painter
For those who are familiar with Oscar Wilde's masterpiece The Picture of Dorian Gray, the fact that this Italian lady has found a way to let wine age on the canvas should sound peculiar at the latest. But this is exactly what she is doing.
The Florence-born artist has indeed been able to turn Wilde's idea into reality, creating a special paint made of wine, that is of chemical-free reds and whites, allowing them to age on the canvas the same way it would in a bottle. Elisabetta Rogai has explained that on a painting wine ages over a few months rather than over a few years, and that during this process colors and aromas keep on change, naturally and automatically, until they reach a new equilibrium.
The Italian artist has also explained that the reason why she started painting with wine was totally fortuitous, and all this happened just a few years ago, when a few drops of wine which stained the tablecloth she was having dinner on gave her the idea of experimenting the effect of wine drops on the canvas.
For those who are curious to know what happened next, as thinking about using wine for painting does not imply being able in a few hours to understand hot to create a paint out of wine, it should be revealed that in this process Elisabetta Rogai has been helped by the Organic Chemistry Department of the University of Florence, where several formula were tested before identifying the only one preventing wine from fading on canvas. Both artist and researches are still keeping this formula as a precious secret, making Rogai the only painter in the word using real wine for her creations, at least for now.
The only thing she can reveal is that to make a wine-paint successful, quality wines are needed, such as Chianti, Brunello and Montepulciano. Without them it is impossible to have intense colors associated to a pleasant smell.