Friday, July 8, 2016

And the art geeking continues- DAVID- edited

Oh PLEEEEZE forgive me while I finish off this spasm of art pleasure- looking at these pictures is just the best. Let's go back to that Tuesday in June when we last saw our art teacher silently weeping over the Botticelli gallery and imagine her excitement to head on over to what she REALLY was wanting to see, and that of course was the David at the Galleria dell'Accademia,  just a little ways across town.

Mmmmmm- balsamic!  Tried some of these lovely things!

In between the two museums we headed on over to the Central Market, which was fun to see and we eventually shopped there- hello olive oil and balsamic vinegar- but we ducked out to find a really nice little restaurant a few blocks away.  SO much fun to do that.  Pick a place and see what they have!  Never a disappointment.  Anyway, after a leisurely lunch, we met the rest of the group at the Accademia for our entrance time.

This menu lured us in- we were on a quest for fresh food- no pizza for now, please

WELL- look who has the crazy eyes! 
We had a LONG wait in the hot sun, though.  Ok, total transparency:  we had a hot wait in the shade while silently mocking the people who didn't have the foresight to make reservations first and they had to stand in the sun.  Maybe that small hiccup in my usual positive outlook on life and other people colored my karma and ironically gave me a heat burn on my legs in Roma later in the trip whilst waiting in the- you got it- hot sun, but I digress.  And I have a rich imagination.  hehe.

Waiting waiting waiting.  We finally got in- went through security, again, and I was sort of desperate to see the David, and the auxiliary sculptures of the slaves that I knew were near him.  I didn't realize that it was such a small museum, but really,  do they need more?

Sweaty selfie with David

I will take this moment to say, wow there is a lot of security at places like this.  So many metal detectors, yo.  AND my sister was none to happy to have to relinquish her bottle of olive oil and such to the guards- but we easily recovered it when we finished up our visit. 

That museum knows how to put on a show. The statue is placed in such a beautiful location.  It is stunning.  I rounded a corner, not really knowing where I was going- and saw in front of me one of the slave sculptures that I really really love.  After admiring that for a moment, I turned my head and there he was.  David is placed in the middle of a space under a dome, on a pedestal, and there are arches and columns framing him on all sides as you look at him.  There are also windows above which does give one some lighting issues if you are busy taking pictures, but gives all the highlights and shadows necessary to properly admire the skill of the artist.

His left foot was damaged by a crazy guy who attacked the statue with a hammer.  
You can see the veins in his arms, the ripple of muscles, the bones of his ribs-  a male carved in stone that looks at once soft and hard.  I had to look carefully  to perceive the proportional anomalies that Michelangelo purposely used, as the statue was originally intended for the roofline of the Florence cathedral.  His head and hands are larger than is correct, as it was supposed to be looked at from below- in an effort to make the figure look natural.

He is at once the young David of biblical lore and also what was perceived as a political statement- his eyes glaring in the direction of Rome, warning them off of the city of Florence.  In art speak, this is one of the finest representations of the figure standing in what is called contrapposto position.  Contrapposto is the human body standing with its weight on one leg, the other shifted for balance.  This will cause the back to curve, dipping the shoulders, tilting the hips and the head then leans counter to the weight shift.  This is representative of the High Renaissance figure sculpture- and can be contrasted against earlier sculpted figures, which showed less implied movement.  The Renaissance sculptors were looking back to their Hellenistic predecessors  who perfected this S curve in their figure sculptures.  An example of which is the Venus de Milo, where you can instantly see the similar curves.  It was an extraordinary day.

As the rest of the group scattered and my dear sister settled herself on a bench, I must have walked up and down that hall 5 times, walking around the statue, going back to look at the unfinished slaves, coming close to it, backing up and looking at it from afar, trying to recreate that moment of a quick inhaled breath.  This is indeed a grand, beautiful piece of artwork.  

There were other parts of the museum, but I will say I barely remember them. I am glad I got a few photos....  Not many but a few.
This was one of my favorite things- a whole room full of statues and busts!

Bearded Slave

Palestrina Pieta maybe by Michelangelo

Atlas Slave

The unfinished Slaves/Prisoners that were in the gallery with David were very interesting to me.  I loved seeing the progression towards the finished work that he was making.  These were intended for the tomb of Pope JuliusII.   They are rough and unrefined, such a contrast to the main event in that gallery.  They are the work of the mature artist and the expression of emotions in these unfinished works is just exquisite.

Ok, anyway, I am very excited to go on to the next set of photos, but I actually have one more Florence post, but I don't know if I am going to write that next or wait for a few days.  We shall see.  I sort of need to bathe in the glow of these moments first.  

Joy was the word of the day here in the fair city of Florence. I plan to go back someday in the not so distant future.  And spend much more time with David.

1 comment:

  1. Florence is one of the most delightful cities in the world. I love its name in Italian -- Firenze. It seems to embody fire and energy, and the frenzy of incredible art and craftsmanship all at once.