The European adventure – V

Special exhibition happening in the Galleria dell’Accademia on “Acknowledging Michelangelo”. Starts today and open until May 18. I’m just plain lucky!

No photos allowed inside the gallery…am so disappointed.

David simply adds itself to my list of not-to-miss works of art. Capturing a fluidity and grace that’s hard to explain David captivates even the casual observer. Not that I am an artist, but it’s breathtakingly beautiful to behold. It’s sheer perfection, from the tip of the toe to the top of the head. It’s very easy to see why this statue is called the symbol of 7000 years of human art. My words do no justice to David’s perfection. It’s perhaps for the first time today that I’ve been struck dumb by what the human intellect is capable of.

This is well and truly Michelangelo’s masterpiece. Every muscle on the leg, the rippling abs, the exposed male genitalia that symbolise virility and fertility in ancient Greek and Roman art and every curve of the body is perfect. Perhaps the most difficult thing to do in art is to capture human anatomy with any degree of accuracy. That’s precisely why artists must master the nude in order to be recognised as good artists.

David is a masterpiece precisely because that aspect of art is perfectly done. It’s hard to compete with perfection.

Over time, David has become symbolic of civic liberties and freedom. And,for good reason. It’s easy to see why the Florentines are so proud of their heritage. If only we Indians cherished what we have as much.

Plaster model of Machiavelli in the gallery. Aptly cunning expression on the face.

The theme of Mary Magdalene’s sainthood recurs through the centuries in various art forms: painting, sculpture, murals…

Also, the Virgin appears frequently in Catholic art, something that completely disappeared in the Protestant sect.

Some lovely sketches in the Galleria degli Uffizi.

In ancient Greek sculpture, elaborate hairstyles signified power. That’s interesting! Loose hair meant a woman of loose morals…seems familiar in the refrain “thalaiya virichi podathey”

It’s amazing to see how Europe preserves its past. We must learn the art of conservation. We have many thousands of years of history that has been list due to negligence.

Birth of Venus by Botticelli is impressive. A large painting approximately 6 feet wide and 4 feet tall, it deserves it’s fame. There’s quite a lot of detail in the painting.

Interesting to note that in every variation of Pieta, there is Mary Magdalene along with the Virgin. Da Vinci’s painting is so realistic…even the tears seem real.

Stormy landscape by Jacob Isaaksz van Ruisdael is captivating in its use of colour.

Since when did I begin to analyse painting???

The judgement of Paris. A captivating theme about the triumph of love (Aphrodite) over power (Athena) and wealth (Hera). Greek mythology is so fascinating…

I wish I could sketch…there is so much to record. Too bad my creativity is limited to the verbal and does not extend to the visual…

Two striking paintings, The Burning of Troy and Hell, both belonging to Don Lorenzo di Medici. A burning Troy bears a very close and striking resemblance to Hell as described in Dante’s Inferno.

Random thought: women with bare bosoms and loose hair always have copper or red hair.

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