Sunday, September 14, 2008

Weekend of Museums

This past weekend I went to three museums... talk about saving up.  Two of them were mandatory visits for class.  The first museum was the Marino Marini Museum.  He was a sculptor from Pistoia, a town near Florence, who worked from the 50s to the late 70s.  He mainly sculpted figures interacting with horses.  What's cool about his work is the levels of stylization and abstraction he explored along his use of space.  That was probably the main reason why my painting instructor had us go to the museum. 

I went to the second museum this morning.  On my way there I had to pass through a piazza where there was big outdoor market.  I found out today that most of the piazzas have a market on Sundays.  
I just took this picture because I thought all the colors complimented each other so randomly well.  Very fall/autumn like.  There were some really cool crafts and some delicious looking food at the market.  

Anyway, the second museum was the Archeological Museum with primarily Etruscan and Egyptian artifacts.  Marino Marini was very influenced by Etruscan art and it was interesting to see how he translated and incorporated it into his work.  I'm still trying to understand this because his art doesn't really look like Etruscan art and his subject matter definitely isn't the same.  
The famous Chimera is at this museum.  Not the best photograph, but I think the museum did a bad job in placing the piece.  It was in a corridor that was too narrow to step back far enough to look at it properly.  In any case, the museum was interesting, although a bit hard to appreciate because there were so many artifacts.  One thing that was cool was seeing the mummies and their sarcophagus. I even got to see an unwrapped mummy.  

After that museum, I had lunch and headed to the Galleria dell'Accademia to see... (drum roll please!)
Michelangelo's David!  Sorry for the blurry picture.  It was the only one I could get before I was told we couldn't take pictures.  Even if I could have taken a better picture it wouldn't have done justice.  This is seriously a masterpiece.  I got goosebumps when I saw it.  To start, its 17 ft tall!  It was originally meant to be seen 30 feet up, so that is why it is so large, especially his hands and head (to compensate for the vantage point).  The David is very important to Florentines as he is the symbol of the city.  Before Italy was united as a country, Florence along with the other major Italian cities were city-states and always at war.  Florence was a central city and important to trade, so it was constantly under attack.  Despite being such a small city-state they fended off their attackers.  That is why David, the boy who defeated the giant, is an appropriate symbol of Florence.  

Also at the Galeria dell'Accademia was a large collection of international gothic and high renaissance paintings.  Lucky for me I got my museum card and can go to see them whenever I want without waiting in line!  Thats a really good thing because I'm going to need a lot more time with those pieces.  

After the museum visits I sat in the Loggia della Signoria of the Uffizi Gallery, drawing a sculpture for class.  I spent a while on it with a bunch of annoying tourists peaking over my shoulder.  I guess I need to get used it since I have to do two more sculpture copies.  

Buona notte!

No comments: