Friday, July 16, 2010


Wed. July 13 - This was a long but fantastic day. We met Micheal at the Uffizi. we toured the 'Offices' - Grand Duke Cosimo's of course. Imagine having that much art in your house that you decide to have a huge building, the Uffizi built for your offices and then you have walls and hallways for your collection. The first art gallery in the world is created. We saw Giotto's and Fabriano's work first. This was cool because I am referencing these artist with artist for my paper. I will spare you the art lessons, but you are welcome to have me go in depth with this topic later as I can refer to my notes. On to comparing Gabriano to Massaccio and Filippo Lippi. Now we are out of the late International Gothic style and into the Renaissance. Piero del Pollaiolo and Bottichelli's were to follow. The Bottichelli's were major as it is now that artist went back to mythical work and left the religious works behind. Prima Vera and the Birth of Venus were amazing. The stories that go with these masterpieces is also very interesting. Many of them are bedroom or wedding gift pictures that warned the mate about lust at the same time as being exotic and sensual. The Verrocchio room was splended as here you also see two and a half Leonardo's. Leonardo was Verrocchio's student. They say when he let Leonardo paint the angel on "The Baptsim of Christ" that Verrocchio cried and put his brushes away forever, for why would he paint when one so young as surpassed him. Another piece we saw was Leonardo's unfinished "Adoration of the Magi". The next rooms were the Mannerist painters, like Rosso Florentino and Tiziano Vecellio. Mannerist painters exagerate everything such as elongating limbs. The work sometimes became too confusing for the viewer. The stories were religious and so after a while the church put a stop to the strange and exotic views. Mary with the Long Neck was the final straw. Note to my daughter Anastasia, the high forehead trait is a sign of great beauty for a Renaissance woman. In fact women would shave back their hair to make the forehead appear higher. Then they would adorn their forehead with a jeweled headpiece. Mary with the long neck is depicted this way. She is blond with a high forehead, shear clothing that shows off her breasts and a huge pearl on her forehead. I believe this work was done by Parmigianno and is called Madonna and Child, just in case you want to look it up.

Finally, off to the Accademia, to see David. Worth the trip to just walk around and gaze at David. He looks like Russell Crow in Gladiator, watching his target the moment before he kills Goliath. But where is the stone? Micheal, the professor, has studied 30 years on this very question. Maybe you know? We also looked at his unfinished slaves before leaving for the New Sacristy at San Lorenzo. Here you see the Medici burial chapel. The tombs were carved by Michelangelo, Day and Night and Dusk and Dawn. Wow, I could go with making him a saint. After all his body did not show signs of decomposing even three weeks after his death. There was lots to discuss here in his work and the decisions he made in the sculptures. Then the Pope called him to Rome, so these tombs are not finished. The Sacristy has become an art academy from the very day he left the work for Rome. Artist have come from all corners of the earth to study and draw from the figures. How I wanted to linger behind and do just that. But we had to move on. I will just have to add that to my life's list for my return visit.

I went and bought some groceries at a great store. Almost the end of my time here and I finally found a great market right near my hotel. Ate in the room and finished my power point as I was up to present on Thursday. I was glad and my power point was easy for me. I knew what I wanted to say and emphasize.

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