Tag Archives: Bargello

Florence, Day 20-22: From Student to Tourist — No, Make That ‘Traveler’

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Since school ended, I’ve been playing teacher — or trying to, at least. I’ve been attempting to share all I have learned with my love, knowing that teaching, in fact, teaches the teacher; or better put, you learn by teaching.

We’ve visited Santa Maria Novella, the Accademia, the Uffizi, Bargello and a few other museums, and we’ve been walking the city, all of which has so beautifully taken us on this journey from the ancients (Renaissance inspiration) to the Dark or Middle Ages (Gothic) to the Renaissance, Mannerism and Baroque. Florence’s art history peters out a bit after that, but does not fade completely.

If all of this art history fascinates you, welcome to my world. If it’s enough about “-isms” and history, join me as I try my best not to drown my husband in “too much” and we escape off to the countryside. From a walled city with a tower growing trees to a Vespa in the countryside, even I can only take “so much.”

Here’s a tip: Visit Florence off-season, from late October to early May. If you love art, January is ideal, and if you desire lots of sun, closer to the spring and fall. But this time of year, I have to escape on the weekends; the crowds thicken and my need for trees grows.

So this weekend, it was Lucca and Chianti. Lucca is delightful, they say; it’s not touristy, but show up on a September weekend and you won’t be alone. Delightful? Yes, but please, please take me to the countryside.

This is partly me; my heart and soul and art belong to the country. The rolling hills, the agriculture, the sound of the birds and the wide open spaces call my name. And it’s not a quiet call.

So Sunday, for my hubby’s birthday I booked a Vespa tour of Chianti. Yes, I did this last weekend but my love did not, and, after all, I am a landscape painter.

I’ll let the photos tell the rest of the story and leave you with this thought: Love your farmers, eat local whenever possible and breathe deep the air of nature when ever you can!

XO,

SS

Florence, Day 3: A Day of Sculpture and the Nude in Art

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The nude in art: It’s a subject of controversy, and I, like many artists, don’t understand why. It’s such a huge part is our art education. I have written about it in the past and explained my reasoning as to why it’s not obscene — it’s art. So today I’ll concentrate on how it is affecting my growth as an artist and as a person. [Click here to read my past musings on the topic.]

I think every artist should have to return to studying from “real life” several times in their journey as an artist, to freshen up how we see, and it’s only a matter of finding a place and the time in which to do this.

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Florence is known as the birthplace of the Renaissance. We all know the term, and many know it means rebirth. But more specifically, it means that here, in this city, there was a spark. Something special where patrons who valued the arts met some of the most gloriously rich creative minds. So the city had money and it knew just what to do with it. It had been a thousand years since the Greeks and Romans (the ancients, as they were called) had made such advances, and the people valued it. The emphasis was all about humanism, which meant representing man as he was, not a glorified version of the gods. And what would representing man as he really is be without intense study of the nude? Many Renaissance artists even worked on corpses to study the anatomy and muscular skeletal make up so they could really get it right.

On this day, I knew my class would be studying from life (that is, a nude model), so before class, I visited the Bargello sculpture museum to really break down how the body was handled through the hands of masters like Michelangelo and Donatello. It is something special to be studying with all of these amazing art works surrounding you for inspiration.

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Today, the city itself will be my subject as I begin my plein air study. It will be exciting to be outside!