A Faire Renaissance

Today was a day of iconic artworks.  For example, my Venus with Venus:

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And here’s, well, no.  I can’t really claim to be a David.

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I was fairly blown away by David, however.  The setting is amazing and the sculpture is just plain gorgeous.  It definitely lived up to the hype.

We spent the morning at various art activities, including the Galleria Academia, where David is, and visiting the Duomo, which is astonishingly beautiful and elaborately decorated outside but rather plain inside.

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Of course, after St Peter’s and all those other Baroque churches in Rome, just about anything would look plain to my eyes.

In the afternoon, we visited the Uffizi Gallery.  The Uffizi was the personal art collection of the Medicis, and the Medicis had amazing taste and the money to indulge it.  In addition to the Birth of Venus, they have three DaVincis, a Michaelangelo, a bunch of Donatellos, several Raphaels, and, outside of the Ninja Turtle school of art, tons of Titians, three more Caravaggios to add to my list, and a truly astonishing range of Medieval, Renaissance, and later art.

Which raises an interesting little point about the art museums we’ve been visiting this week.  We’ve visited five art museums so far.  All but one was the personal collection of some wealthy family.  Even the Vatican Museum was the collection of a virtual family: the popes.

This is an entirely different approach to art museums than I am used to.  But perhaps most interesting of all: all these personal collections are amazing.  The Uffizi is one of the greatest art museums in the world.  But I suppose you can collect a lot of great art when you were the leading family of the city where the Renaissance began.

Speaking of which, here’s the home of the Medicis – a beautiful building right next to the Uffizi (which means “Offices,” as the building was originally built to be the offices of the Florence government, until one of the Medicis decided he’d rather have an art gallery than another set of government offices).

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