Thursday, May 26, 2011

Firenze Ancora

Back in Firenze! When planning this trip, we went back and forth on whether we should hop down to Italy and visit good old Florence. It was a bit out of the way (with how we planned our routes) and we actually encountered a few detours on the way down, but in the end, it was worth it!

There isn’t much to recap about our time in Italy. The weather was beautiful, we visited some new places and revisited some favorites, and best of all, ate exclusively at the best places in town.

I remembered this guy from when I lived there. It was nice to see him around again, playing some mood-setting tunes for the people enjoying their meal out in the piazza.

You might remember pictures I posted of the Arno from two years ago. The view will never disappoint, especially when the waters are calm and big, puffy clouds are above.

From here on out, it’s about the art. That is what drew me to this city and what still thrives. We were headed back to our B&B and noticed a big banner advertising this show. We hoped in to find amazing pieces like that and counted our lucky stars as it was the last day of the exhibition. It really makes me want to sit down and paint.

While having a drink in Piazza Santa Croce, I noticed these frescos on the building across the square. I don’t know why I never noticed it before, but this time it really caught, and held, my attention. The fading frescos are such a good metaphor for Firenze. It’s a piece of the distance past, showing the beauty and detail of the old society, faded but still holding strong. Somewhat ghostly, yet still striking and capturing. So cool.

Now for Giambologna. I wish I could give a background on this amazing sculptor, but I have yet to dig deep into his background. For now, he was one of the best sculptors of the high renaissance, working after Michelangelo while overlapping his career for a short while.

Here is a sculpture in the Loggia of the Piazza della Signoria. The Loggia is part of the famous Uffizi Gallery and houses some of the best sculptures of the renaissance (in my opinion).

The other best place to see amazing sculptures in Firenze is the Bargello. The museum is entirely dedicated to sculpture and ceramics and was actually the only museum we went to this time around. I might have posted this Giambologna before, but it’s so cool that I had to do it again.

Back story: Two years ago, while I was living and studying in Firenze, I tried to go to the Villa Demidoff in a small town outside of Firenze called Pratolino. The only reason I wanted to visit this villa was to see a very under-known Giambologna. I’ve lost count, but am sure that I tried to visit the villa at least three times. Every time, it was closed for one reason or another and I left Europe the last time disappointed that I missed it.

Well. This time I got to it, with Casey and my friend Eugenio, and THIS was worth the wait! It is a giant sculpture Giambologna did in two years and is officially my favorite work of art. It is something about the juxtaposition of well-polished and raw form that shows the genius of the man. He gently overlooks a pond, pensive and somber. His melting hair and dripping environment suggests he has been here, and will be, for eternity, gently watching history pass by. It is truly amazing.

If you look closely, you can see Eugenio standing next to the gargantuan sculpture on the right. This gives you a sense of how large it is and adds to the incredible feat of creating such a thing. I would love to see this again sometime in a distant future as I’m sure it will only look better.

1 comment:

celia said...

Your picture of the Arno is so beauuuutiful! Lucky to have caught the exhibition. Wow, wow Giambolgna's piece is mind blowing. So glad you thought of having Eugenio stand next to it. I like your poetic description.