Saturday, February 6, 2010

Florence we hardly knew ye! THE ART

I had the opportunity to tag along with my hubby to Florence, Italy in January so YOU BET I took it!  He went for work so would be occupado for 3 days, but the great thing about Florence is that you can walk the city center easily - much of it is a no traffic zone as well.  Being an artist, Florence is da bomb!  I plan to post a couple of installments on this trip starting with the art.

You can see work by the Great Masters like Botticelli, Da Vinci and Michangelo.  It takes your breath away.  You can't take photos in the museums, but I got one of this Michelangelo sculpture in the Medici Chapels



It seems that many of Michelangelos sculptures were never completely finished.  Maybe he had the first case of ADD :)


This is a copy of Michelangelo's David that stands in the Palazzo della Signoria.    Unlike previous depictions of David which portray the hero after his victory over Goliath, Michelangelo chose to represent David before the fight contemplating the battle yet to come.  The apprehension on his face is palpable.  I did see the original David as well where it was moved inside to preserve it at the Gallerie dell’Accademia in 1873.

The thing that really strikes you about cities like Florence is the depth of history there.  We are such a young country in comparison.  To think that this sculpture was done between 1501-1504.

The Uffizi Gallery is the premiere museum of Florence and is also known as the National Gallery.  One thing about going to Florence in January is the typically substantial crowds are not a problem.  You usually need to get tickets for this museum to avoid the 3-4 hour wait to get in, but we were able to just walk right in and enjoy the artwork without being herded through.  This was my favorite piece.

The Birth of Venus by Botticelli. This is a very large painting  (67.9 in × 109.6 in).  Those Renaissance painters spared no paint!

The grand old churches are another great attraction.  They are filled with artwork by great artists of the time.
We stayed in a lovely hotel that looked out on to a view of the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella.  I took this photo out of the hotel window.

 
 
The second photo is just a sample of the artwork that can be found in The Santa Maria Novella.  This is The Holy Trinity by Masaccio.  The scale, age and importance of these pieces is just overwhelming and humbling.  Many of them took years to complete.  We take things for granted like premixed paint in tubes, pre-stretched canvas, ready made synthetic brushed.  Many of the masters worked in egg tempura before the 15th century and beyond.  This is a permanent fast drying painting medium consisting of colored pigment mixed with a water-soluble binder medium (usually a glutinous material such as egg yolk or some other size)  They mixed their own paint and worked on wood they prepared.  These are the ingredients of a masterpiece!
 
Well I've 'rambled' on enough for now.  Next installment I'll cover some other highlights.

1 comment:

soggibottom said...

I know I am going to get trouble with this....

This is beautiful.

Yet....how is it I find painting cottage walls so tiresome. ?

x x x

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