Thursday, August 11, 2011
Italia--Steeped in Art; Overwhelmed By Art
A detail of one of thousands of paintings covering almost every wall and ceiling surface in the Vatican halls.
The dome of St. Peter's..Surrounded by lush green, a perfect compliment to its formal beauty and perfection.
The Gallery of Maps at the Vatican, and the breathtaking golden ceiling...
The Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge) in Florence was the only bridge in Italy purposely not destroyed in WWII by enemy explosion. The exterior of the bridge appears to be a small villlage. Inside on the the well-traveled walkway are a number of jewelers.
The Opera Museum on Rome. An interesting edifice flanked by angelic sculptures on the bridge that leads to it.
Inside the Colosseum there is a mural that depicts the common activities that took place there at the time. Men would gather to talk politics, play board games, sleep, relax, as well as witness the violent games in the "arena", from the Latin word for "sand" which was spread on the floor to clean the blood from these spectacles. "Gladiators" were named for the Latin word "glateus", the short heavy sword they used in their staged battles.
A look at the dome in the pantheon, a famous ancient cathedral with a hole in the top of its dome. It is conjectured that the design was patterned on the movement of celestial bodies, and the light coming in was carefully modulated because of it.
Just one of the stunning design structures and arches on the site of the excavated Forum. One can spend weeks here for serious study of this site.
Paintings, mosaics, and murals like this appeared regularly above doorways all over Rome. This was on a small church.
Some of the fourteen medieval towers that fortified the medieval town of San Gimignano, that look something like a hi-rise skyline from the distance. For this reason the town was dubbed "the Manhattan" of Tuscany".
ANIMALS were a welcome inspiration for beautiful artifacts, from the most ancient times:
A simple iron horse-tie still affixed to a wall in Sienna.
Part of a massive fresco on a wall in the burial hall in Pisa. I love the expression in the horses' eyes, and the little dog curled in the arms of its mistress.
(I learned that Frescoes are so fragile because they are painted on wet plaster, which dries very quickly.)
A Vatican sculpture of the goddess Diana, goddess of the hunt, with a faithful dog at her side.
Even the common lamp-posts in Florence had leonine feet!
From the terrace at the famous Uffizi gallery, near the Accademia (home of the "David"), and which contains the renowned paintings of Botticelli among others. Just an "artsy" composition to showcase the layers of beauty.
A replica of David in the square next to the Uffizi. (In the sculpture to the right, what is the kneeling man gazing at so intently??)