|The "giant turtle" as we called it- Florence was displaying some new art along with the old. It was our meeting place- "be back at the giant turtle by 5:30 and we will go to dinner from there"|
One of the things that made my heart quicken was to see the famous Renaissance painting Judith Slaying Holofernes by Artemisia Gentileschi. She was a Baroque painter, and much of the point of this admiration and fame is that she was a FEMALE painter. HIGHLY unusual- she was the first female to be accepted into Florence's exclusive Academia di Belle Arti. In traditional art history- pre-Impressionism, it all was a story of dead white males, so she really is a departure from the norm. I absolutely remember seeing this painting on the screen in good old Hibbard Hall, second floor, during art history class. We had just learned about the paintings of Caravaggio and chiaroscuro and then in that lecture or the next, was this striking painting by Gentileschi. I LOVE this painting, so much action and movement. And yes, she did depict strong female characters in history and lore.... And you can see the strong shading- here is that vocab word- or chiaroscuro.
|Medusa- by Caravaggio OH so cool.|
So for any of you who are not swooning over the beginning of mood lighting, shading, and all things Renaissance art, you go ahead and skip this paragraph..... or maybe two paragraphs..... Chiaroscuro is basically the use of shading.
There was a time when painting (think back or look back at those 14th c. wood panels from the first Florence post) was pretty flat and the figures were not very "modeled". This is true of the handling of both the figure and the space that it inhabits. The entire point of the art then was to illustrate Biblical/religious scenes/people or portray the religious leaders of the time- the popes, you know?! During the later 1400's and into the next 200-300 years, artists were being hired by wealthy, secular folk (the Medici family in Florence, for example) to paint/sculpt for them. Artists began to have patrons that were not connected directly to the church. The move away from religion to humanism as a way of life changed a lot of the art. Scenes from real life began to emerge as well as the depiction of mythology and other subjects that were used during ancient times. Non-religious subject matter was a big deal, really.
We love humanism and the Renaissance, no? Anyway, chiaroscuro is the use of shading to show three dimensions, usually when referencing drawing and painting, and in fact it all began with drawing. Drawing on colored paper and adding the lights and darks with charcoal/chalk, while retaining the color of the paper as a middle tone (which is something I LOVE to do with my students) is how it was first developed and explored. This quickly moved onto print making and painting. Chiaroscuro, as I learned, was also a specific style of composition that an extraordinary artist named Caravaggio developed. The result was that his paintings were fairly dark, but he would use a few rays of light to highlight the action that was happening in the piece. Your eye has no choice but to look there first. Oh I could go on and on. I can't tell you how amazing it was to see these painting in OMG- REAL LIFE!!! All these painting I learned about so long ago and me with my nose metaphorically pressed against the glass. And perhaps a not so symbolic tear in my eye again. I didn't cry much after Florence.
|One of the sculptures at the Palazzo Vecchio-Hercules beating the Centaur-|
|Sculptures at the Uffizi|
|Isn't this an amazing place? I had to snap a few with the phone....|
|The entrance that we used|
|One of the AMAZING pieces that we saw. I love this one|
|Looking towards the T intersection|
|Yet another piece- it was trippy, the whole thing.|
That is definitely one of my favorite things! If I can figure out how to attach a video clip, I will!!
And I did!
I referred to the fact a long time ago that we stopped at the best little town along the way to Assisi and had a nice little treat. A few of us went over to this coffee shop and had a little caffe and a delicious little sweet- sort of a cake with raspberry and all sorts of deliciousness. Wow! It was one of the most relaxing enjoyable stops of the trip..... and this in a trip full of favorites.
|I took this pic so I remembered the town with the amazing little coffee shop- Passignano!|
|Enjoying our treats, though Paula hadn't gone to get hers yet.|
|Totally unedited but evokes the peace and loveliness of the town and lake|
When we got to Assisi, we had a walking tour of this cute little place. It was bookended by two churches, one at the top of the hill and one at the bottom. We had a great tour, but the best thing was having free time and exploring the town for a few hours. It was so much fun- it has only 2 roads that run up and down the hill, but lots of side stairs and alley ways. And the views were outstanding.
|Gateway to the town|
|The views were amazing!! And I am in total love with those street lights|
Wish I could see them at night
|View from the top of the hill to the church on the bottom. There were even armed Polizia down at the Basilica of San Francesco|
|Temple of Minerva in the Piazza del Commune: an ancient temple that was turned into a church|
|Oh those Corinthian columns!|
|Some of the frescos that are on the walls- and you can see the pink limestone that the area is famous for. Very beautiful|
|LOVE the every day beauty the Italian put into their homes|
|One of the many compelling little routes through the city|
|What charm this little city had|
|Views for days!|
|Hidden treasures to see everywhere|
We stayed only one night in Assisi, and it was down in the new part of the city below. We ate at the hotel that night, had some local wine and prepared ourselves for the day to come. Our next hotel's "lobby" was on the 5th floor. So we did some repacking and only took enough for the next night in a carry on type bag. The rest stayed on the bus. Adventure followed us everywhere. HA and I finally found my stamps in Assisi!! And bought two extra for an interesting lady who had a series of shall we say interesting things happen to her.... interesting people we traveled with- let's leave it at that. Oy.
While the official architecture and art of the churches weren't my absolute favorites, the town itself was just amazing. So cute, not so busy, though there were plenty of cars and people and full of charm. These first 5 days were absolutely my favorite days. I enjoyed the rest of the trip- absolutely! But these first days were the best. You might even say a joy.