Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Uffizi Gallery

June 11

Uffizi Gallery, Florence, is an incredible collection of Italian paintings. It is laid out in chronological order so very easy to follow and understand (I bought the guide after we were through, to have the memories and information for later). We purchased tickets in advance to avoid the long lines, but encountered a "strike" Italian for "delay"...maybe they had a staff meeting and opened late, still, we entered at 10:15 and our tickets were for 10am, not bad! But it was worth the wait! My favorites were, of course the Botticellis, which I will talk about in a moment, but there were also others worth a note: Michelangelo's only surviving canvas painting, a tondo, painting in the round, of the Holy Family, a couple of Rembrandt self-portraits I have been teaching my students about for years, one in his youth and the other aged, and Titian's Venus of Urbino. Wow!

But the dreamy, allegorical Botticellis were my favorites. I have never really studied Botticelli much, but when I stood before these it was possible to get lost. First, The Birth of Venus. Note, please the breath of life blown her way.  Curious that Botticelli chose to paint in a 2-dimensional flat style so out of synch with current Renaissance art of the time, but the setting seems appropriate for the subject, Venus rises mysteriously from the sea.

File:Sandro Botticelli - La nascita di Venere - Google Art Project.jpg

Perhaps as much or more, I was impressed with La Primavera 1482 (The Spring) by Botticelli. Venus (center) represents the fertile growth of Spring. Cupid hovers above the Three Graces. Note the center figure has her attention on the male in the lefthand corner, Mercury. The woman in the flowered dress is Primavera or the personification of Spring. There are at least 500 plant species represented in the painting, with about 190 flowers.

No comments:

Post a Comment