It’s an odd thing, to finally get the chance to see works of art that you’ve seen in books, that you’ve studied and analyzed and talked about in classes all your life. It almost feels surreal.
It felt a bit like that when the kids were young and we took them to Paris and went to The Louvre and saw the Mona Lisa. That one was, honestly, a bit of a let down. It’s so small in real life. The best part of that experience was how kind the guards were – seeing the children and coming and getting them, and letting them go in front of the crowds and the rope and right up in front of the painting so they could see.
So, when Tim said he’d booked tickets for Galleria Uffizi and Galleria Accademia, I was excited and also a bit nervous. Would the original David also not live up to the hype? And of all the Renaissance painters I’ve studied, most I’m just “meh” about (Rubens? Whatevs. I mean, Leonardo…sure, fine.) But. BOTTICELLI? Y’all. I love Botticelli. Those faces. The colors. The details. The faces.
We started at Accademia and our tour guide was Rosa, an adorable, tiny Italian lady who held up a red rose (she was so short it was the only way we could locate her in the crowds of people!)
Rape of the Sabine
The David. It was magnificent. It was powerful. It was beyond words. Michelangelo was a genius.
We then commenced the walking portion of our tour through the medieval part of town, learning more about the Medicis and about Dante Alighieri.
And finally we went to Galleria Uffizi, where we saw many Renaissance masters…
Leonardo da Vinci
There were lots of statues, all collected by the Medicis…
But…of course, y’all want to know about the Botticellis, don’t you?
Oh. My. Gawd.
They were incredible.
Sure, Birth of Venus is there, and of course it was AMAZING to see this masterpiece in person! But, honestly, it’s not my favorite.
Oh sure, allegory, symbolism, blah blah blah. I know. But, I like art for the way it makes me feel. And…I don’t really feel much with this one. Sorry. I’m not an art expert, I’m just me.
Those are better.
Look at those faces!
But this is a favorite…
Or maybe the one above it. Oh, I just love Botticelli.
Anyway, it was a great day. The museums themselves were gorgeous. Every ceiling was painted, each itself a work of art. Amazing.
(As you can tell, clearly the art, the museums, the history were just too much for me. It was an amazing, wonderful day. And, truly…gazing upon the angelic, serene, radiant faces that Botticelli painted left me without words…)