Italy, Florence – Part 4

Today let me take you on a stroll through a couple of the world renowned galleries that grace Florence. We’re going to begin our day in the Uffizi Gallery with our tour guide Fabio. This gallery is another gift form the Medici family.

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It is in the Uffizi Gallery where you get to see works by some of the most famous artists in history. As with so many millions of people, I was utterly transfixed by Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus. The form and movement of the piece are just captivating.

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To add to my sense of awe we were then taken across the room to where there was another congestion of humanity, around another Botticelli, Primavera.

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I was entranced! How had I not known this piece existed before now? I guess I haven’t studied Botticelli and his work with enough depth. Actually if there was one thing this trip did reinforce it was just how ignorant I am! I have a lot of catching up to do on my personal education!

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As we moved around the gallery, there were so many pieces that I had only read about, or seen in reproduction. Caravaggio’s Medusa shield was so crisp and raw that I’m sure it must have inspired more than a few nightmares in days gone past.

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The other Caravaggio which brought a smile to my face was Bacchus. I have always been amused by the discrepancy of the overly overtly muscled right arm, in comparison to the chest, which has little muscle tone at all. The other thing about this piece is that I’m used to seeing it rendered two stories high on the side of a building in a pub in Leichhardt! So to see it at the actual size which is a piddling 95x85cm, came as a surprise to me.

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Of course, there are other galleries, and other art works to take in in this great city. And the next gallery we go to has a queue just as long, and the “skip the line” tickets only do so much good in either instance! But you know what? … Worth it!

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Yes, we have been in, and we have seen him up close and personal. Both him and (gestures with my thumb over my shoulder) his replica outside.

Michelangelo’s David. I’m not entirely sure what there is to say. He was huge, but completely in proportion through his body. Hands were a bit bigger because of where you were meant to view him from. They had him expertly lit, and he had a remarkably intense gaze.

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I had never noticed before that his sling actually goes all the way around his back from the top hand around to the bottom hand cupping the stone. I guess that’s the wonder of actually being able to walk around him rather than just looking at a two dimensional picture.

Florence is such a beautiful city, and we spent our last night in it absorbing the artistic culture and atmosphere. We sat ourselves on the edge of the Piazza della Repubblica, listened to the musicians, and ate pastries.

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Before we knew it we were back on a train and on to the last leg of our journey! Don’t believe what anyone tells you about Italian trains! We had no trouble whatsoever!

Beckoning to us from just a short train ride away was a much earlier point in history. We found ourselves, like so many legions before us, the place where all roads lead …

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I’ll be back next week with all our adventures from Rome, so stick with me!

2 thoughts on “Italy, Florence – Part 4

  1. So many art galleries to explore in Florence, I’m glad you were able to see several and share your impressions with your readers 🙂

    What you say about learning how little you know and how much you have to learn sounds very familiar. I feel similarly when we travel, but must admit that I have yet to fulfill my resolutions to learn as much as I can afterwards. 😦

    Yay Bottecellis! And those two angels! I remember them, but I don’t remember from where — which piece do they hide in? Not either of the Bottecellis as I recall?

    Do you have links to the analysis about Bacchus? I’m not sure I’m familiar with this and now I’m curious. Before I set myself loose on the Internet, maybe you have the sources on-hand?

    I agree wholeheartedly about the difference it makes to see David in person. It’s difficult to get a feel for scale and the visual weight of the sculpture from the pictures only. Must admit that I found him rather creepy, though. I think it was the eyes.

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