0Wednesday. 31st [May 1905]—Mezzaratta, Bologna
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31 May 1905 — Mezzaratta, Bologna
Wednesday. 31st [May 1905]. I went at 9 down the hill & took the train in to Bologna. At the piazza I met Faccioli who took me to the Picture gallery & got me permission to paint there. I finished a small copy of the Magdalen by Timoteo Viti wh I had begun 20 years ago when I was in Bologna with Henry. There was great movement & excitement in the town as the fête of the Madonna. The figure was exposed for adoration in S. Petronio. We went in there for a moment. It was a fine pictorial sight. The church was got up with red damask & many lights—many priests & crowds of the faithfully in groups. It appears this Virgin is on a 3 day’s visit to Bologna & then returns to her sanctuary on a hill outside the town. There is an extraordinary devotion to her & this eveng she is brought out & made by the priests to bless the people in the Piazza by being bowed right left & front. The populace will not allow her sanctity to be question—hence arise many fights & squabbles– It is all much the same as it was in the 15th century, thanks to the priests. Faccioli & I returned to Mezzaratta in time for lunch– All these days Da Laura & I spent many hours sitting in the verandah of the house working and chatting—talking of old times & of our dear husbands who had also been great friends—also of Giovanni Morelli who was the friend of us all. One day a friend who was an occulist came to see Da Laura to look at her eyes of which she had, of late, been complaining. He tells her that she has the beginning of cataract wh is rather a shock to her. Countess Zucchini who has a villa close by came in often to see us. One day Da Laura & I went in to town by the train to the “Emilia Ars” lace shop & looked in to various antiquity shops in one of wh I bought some seed pearls.

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