Rosemarie Mulcahy, a distinguished historian of Spanish and Italian art - and a dear friend - died on 5 September 2012. Today, marking the first anniversary, there will be a memorial celebration at 1:30 pm at Newman House, St. Stephen's Green, Dublin.

I am grateful to have seen Rosemarie barely two weeks before her stunningly unexpected death. She and her husband Seán always spent a week in August with friends at Castiglioncello, on the Tuscan coast. So I popped down for lunch, from my home in Florence. 

It was a very pleasant lunch, on a terrace overlooking the sea—but just a lunch. We were old friends who had hung out together countless times in the past and we fully expected to continue doing so in the future. Rosemarie and I talked mostly about her many plans—for publications, travel and a prestigious lecture tour in Spain.  

Now a year has passed—but can any of us believe it? I am still not ready to think of Rosemarie Mulcahy in the past tense.