Inside Maro Gorky’s Tuscan technicolour dream house: the home is an artwork in itself

A Tuscan farmhouse where artists Maro Gorky and her husband Matthew Spender have lived and worked since 1968. The couple’s credentials as bohemian aristocracy are indisputable. She is the daughter of Armenian-American artist Arshile Gorky, he is the son of acclaimed poet and critic Sir Stephen Spender. Their house has attracted the attention of some renowned writers, artists, actors and filmmakers. Their elder daughter, Saskia, is a ceramicist, while the younger, Cosima, is a filmmaker and producer.
The stability of this home is all the more heartening if you consider the insecurity of Maro’s childhood. In 1948, when she was five years old, her father died by suicide. Maro was sent with her younger sister Natasha to an orphanage in Switzerland. She ended up at the Slade School of Fine Art in London, graduating in 1965.
Maro says that the farmhouse, half an hour north of Siena, was a wreck when they bought it 55 years ago. For years, she sketched and painted in front of the Tuscan countryside terrain. Anchoring her paintings are the geometric shapes of the trees and hills, the stone walls, and the poles that support the vines in the fields – forms that have become more abstract as Maro has grown older.


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