Posted By Raya Yarbrough on April 12, 2013
My day at the Ufizzi Gallery, or:
The Ufizzi Gallery in Florence is an endurance test.
I mean, it’s a museum, with some of the world’s masterworks by the likes of Bottecelli, Da Vinci, and Michalangelo…but it will wear your ass down.
By the end of your time in those priceless halls, under the beautifully grotesque painted ceilings, you will find yourself looking at the amputee Roman sculptures with their blank marble eyeballs, saying, ”yeah man, I feel ya.”
That said, go. Just go, when you can.
The vibrations of human perception, inspiration, and interpretation have energized these works for hundreds of years, and it bounces right back at you.
I saw Botticelli’s Venus, which I’ve seen a million times on fridge magnets, t-shirts, you name it, but to see the full sized work in context with his other work, in context with other contemporary art, is to understand why the guy was popular. Subject matter in those days, was not a free for all. Botticelli could not paint a picture of his bandaged ear or splatter paint on a canvas, it was all religion, or politics (commissioned portraits etc.) or mythology, so your distinction was all style. Botticelli is, basically (and I am clearly not an art scholar) nice to look at. Beautiful. There’s a hell of a lot more going on with him, but that was the biggest impact for me – lyrical, flowing, feminine lines (in my opinion) gorgeous. In contrast, the Michelangelo I saw brought out a bright, colorful, three-dimensionality, which seemed eerily 20th century. Have to check him out some more, I have no context for this observation.
Photography is not allowed in the Ufizzi, so in case you are unfamiliar with the work,
I submit my rendering of Botticelli’s Venus from memory.
But truly, one of the last pieces I saw will stay with me forever.
Da Vinci’s version of The Annunciation. Remember last post when we talked about that? The angel who came to tell The Virgin Mary that her baby was gonna be dope? That scene. (more…)