Trevi. Right Triton

TrevyTripRS36 x 24 (91.5cm x 61.0cm) Oil on canvas board.

Right side of a triptic set on the Trevi Fountain at Rome.

Phil Carrero.


The design of the trevi fountain is based on three architectural elements: a façade made of travertine; statues of carrara marble.


Neptune his carried on his tryumphal charriot by two horses jockeid by two Tritons. One horse is restless, one is calm. One triton is strong and young, one is older and holds a twisted shell that is using to announce their passage.

Ocean is also standing in the median portion of a tryumphal arch.

In the left part of the arch there is the statue of Abundance holding the horn of plenty. At her feet a toppled vase lies by a source of water. Above her there is a relief showing Agrippa commanding his generals to build the acqueduct.

Trevi, Neptune Rules

Neptune rules_med36 x 24 (91.5cm x 61.0cm) Oil on canvas board.

Centerpiece of a triptic set on the Trevi Fountain at Rome.

Phil Carrero


In 1629 Pope Urban VIII, finding the earlier fountain insufficiently dramatic, asked Gian Lorenzo Bernini to sketch possible renovations, but the project was abandoned when the pope died. The planning for a new fountain on the site began again 100 years later. This time under the Roman architect Nicola Salvi, whose work was inspired by the sketches left by Bernini. The fountain took 30 years to finish and it stood completed in year 1762.

The Trevi Fountain is dominated by a several large statues. The very center of the fountain is dominated by a man standing in a large shell chariot. This statue depicts the Roman god of the water and the seas, Neptune – also known as Poseidon in Greek mythology. The chariot is pulled by two sea horses. One of them is calm and submissive while the other one is impatient and restless. The creature’s different temper is said to symbolize the fluctuating moods of the sea.

Each one of the horses is guided by a triton – a mermaid like creature who formed the escort of marine divinities in the Greek mythology.  The creatures do not only add symbolic meaning to the fountain with the contrast in their mood and poses, but they also provide a symmetrical balance.

Susanna and the Elders, study on Rubens.


52 x 62 cm. Oil on board.

Study on Reubens’ “Susanna and the Elders” (c1606). Llewena Carrero


This is the first and only oil painting my wife Llewena did. I helped mixing colors and showed how to apply layers. Amazingly talented individual whose capacity to analyse detail defies artistic experience, and yet produces results like this.

Book of the Apocrypha. The story is set in Babylon and concerns two Jewish elders appointed as judges who become enamored of the beautiful and pious Susanna, wife of the wealthy Joakim. After watching her bathe in the privacy of her garden they accost her, but she rejects their advances. To get back at her they accuse her of adultery with a young man in her garden, and on the basis of their false testimony she is condemned to death. At this point the young Daniel intervenes, claiming that the two accusers have not been cross-examined properly. Under his examination, they become confused, one stating that the alleged transgression occurred beneath a mastic tree, the other under an oak, and Susanna is thus exonerated and the two elders are put to death.

The brief Book of Susanna and the Elders has been preserved in two Greek versions, in the Septuagint (48 verses) and in Theodotion (64 verses), the latter giving a more graphic account of the garden scene. The book is part of the uncanonized Additions to the Book of Daniel. Its principal purpose seems to have been to exalt the wisdom of the young Daniel in the face of a misjustice wrought by the community. It is not certain whether the original language of the book was Hebrew or Greek. The story with its erotic element has been a favorite of painters (Tintoretto, Rubens, Rembrandt) and a host of writers and composers.

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Rubens made the work in his Italian period.

Hercules And Antaeus, study on Giambologna

HERCULES AND ANTAEUS50cm x 82cm oil on canvas board.

Study based on Giambologna’s sculpture work. Phillip Carrero.

The small bronze portrays Hercules, recognisable by the lion’s pelt tied around his waist, as he raisesAntaeus from the ground and crushes him.
The subject refers to one of the innumerable exploits tackled by the hero, as narrated in the myths. While he was travelling through Libya in quest of the golden apples, Hercules had to confront the giant Antaeus, son of Neptune (god of the sea) and Gaia (goddess of the earth), who obliged all travellers to fight with him, after which he invariably killed them. In fact Antaeus was invulnerable as long as his feet were on the earth, and hence was in contact with his mother. Consequently Hercules lifted him off the ground, and then suffocated him by crushing him against his own body.
The bronze is set upon a triangular base, which is balanced in turn on three tortoises.

Allegory Of The Dawn, study on Michelangelo.

DSCF083942cm x 62cm. Oil on canvas board.

From Michelangelo’s Tomb of Lorenzo de Medici. Phillip Carrero.


The Medici Chapels form part of a monumental complex developed over almost two centuries in close connection with the adjoining church of San Lorenzo, considered the “official” church of the Medici family who lived in the neighbouring palace on Via Larga (it is now known as the Medici-Riccardi Palace).

The articulation of the architecture structure and the strength of Michelangelo’s sculptures reflect a complex symbolism of Human Life, where “active life” and “contemplative life” interact to free the soul after death, a philosophical concept closely linked to Michelangelo’s own spirituality.


Moses, study on Michelangelo.

Moses 0341cm x 59cm Oil on canvas board.

Based on Michelangelo’s sculpture at St Peters Basilica.  Phillip Carrero.


Pope Julius II commissioned Michelangelo to build his tomb in 1505 and it was finally completed in 1545; Julius II died in 1513

Moses is an imposing figure – he is nearly eight feet high sitting down! He has enormous muscular arms and an angry, intense look in his eyes. Under his arms he carries the tablets of the law – the stones inscribed with the Ten Commandments that he has just received from God on Mt. Sinai.


We can see the figure’s pent-up energy. The entire figure is charged with thought and energy. It is not entirely clear what moment of the story Michelangelo shows us, is he about to rise in anger after seeing the Israelites worshiping the golden calf? He has the tablets with the ten commandments on them under his right arm. Creating an interesting seated figure is not an easy thing to do!

You have probably noticed that Moses has horns. This comes from a miss-translation of a Hebrew word that described Moses as having rays of light coming from his head.

David, a study on Michelangelo.

Study on David 2

46cm x 90cm Oil on canvas board.

Based on Michelangelos sculpture at Florence. Phillip Carrero.

To make this statue, Michelangelo was given a piece of flawed marble that another artist had started but given up. Indeed, he was asked to finish a sculpture of the David originally blocked out in 1464. It’s documented that on Sept 9, 1501, he apparently knocked off a “certain knot” that had been on the David’s chest.

Though Leonardo da Vinci and others were consulted, it was Michelangelo, only twenty-six years old, who convinced the Operai that he deserved the commission. On 16 August 1501, Michelangelo was given the official contract to undertake this challenging new task.

The artwork is much different from the previous statues made by other famous artists such as Verrocchio and Donatello. David by Michelangelo depicted the young David before he went on to his battle with the mighty Goliath. Hence, the figure’s face appeared tense and set for combat instead of victorious because of his foe’s defeat.

In June 1504, Davidwas installed next to the entrance to the Palazzo Vecchio, replacing Donatello’s bronze sculpture of Judith and Holofernes, which embodied a comparable theme of heroic resistance. It took four days to move the statue the half mile from Michelangelo’s workshop into the Piazza della Signoria


La Pieta, study on Michelangelo.

2 Pieta 2

78cm x 78cm Oil on canvas board. Based on Michelangelo’s sculpture at St Peters Basilica. Phillip Carrero.

One of Michelangelo’s most revered works, La Pieta’ ( Translation: The Pity) was commissioned in the year 1499 by the French Cardinal Jean de Billheres.

While the scene presents the viewer an older Jesus’ lifeless body being held up in his mother’s lap, the younger Mary can be said to depict a more common scene of mother and child. Adding to this interpretation, some also feel that it is both a snapshot of Jesus’ entire life, from youth to death, wrapped into one sculpture. But, it is important to note that all art is subjective, and the true answer lies within us. One thing is undeniable though, and that is the sheer power and emotion the scene seems to evoke from every angle, every time.