The Uffizi is wonderful. There are rooms with no less than a dozen Botticelli paintings, several from Leonardo Da Vinci, also Titian, Raphael, Michelangelo, Boccaccio, etc.
As mentioned in a previous post the Medici family were, of course, huge benefactors and supporters of the arts and many of these works and the museum itself came to be due to their support.
I must say, that the more da Vinci’s I see, the less I am a fan. The Mona Lisa is not one of my favorites nor were the paintings I saw today.
On the other hand, I have a new guy to add to my list, Correggio. He was one of the few masters I saw today that actually painted baby Jesus looking like a little baby. I don’t know what was up with many of these masters, but baby Jesus usually looks pretty unattractive. The faces in Correggio’s paintings were also just fantastic; soft, simple, expressive.
Depending on who commissioned the paintings, the artist often times used likeliness of that person or their family members in the painting; so an ugly baby could mean an ugly baby Jesus (I think “remarkable” was the word Kramer used?)! It also seems to me that there was a general difficulty in deciding exactly how to portray Jesus. I like that fact that Correggio didn’t try and make him more mature or all-knowing than necessary.
Obviously, the Botticelli’s were just divine! His ability to capture skin tone and the beauty and shading of a face is simply breathtaking. The eyes and expression! I don’t have the words!
I also learned that Botticelli never married as he had a strong aversion to the idea and said the concept gave him nightmares! He did have a muse, though, Simonetta Vespucci (yes, as in Amerigo) who was married but reportedly modeled for his works including “The Birth of Venus”, one of his best known pieces that I had the pleasure of viewing today. My Botticelli of choice today was “Madonna of the Magnificent”.
The Correggio that I particularly liked is named “The Virgin in Adoration of the Child” and there is also an extraordinary Michelangelo named “The Holy Family”, the colors and shadowing just mesmerizing!
A literally beautiful way to start the day.