Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Florence, Day 2: Uffizi Part 2

We moved on to Sandro Botticelli’s paintings. I am sure they look quite familiar to you.

La Primavera (1482) by Botticelli portrays a group of mythological figures in a garden. The woman standing in her arch is Venus. Another woman wearing a flower crown and floral patterned dress is Flora, the goddess of flowers.

Birth of Venus, 1482-1485. This masterpiece commissioned by the Medici is the first example in Tuscany of a painting on canvas.

Laocoön and His Sons. This one is a copy. The original is in Vatican Museum. As you can see, the original has missing limbs but the copy has every arm and hand.

At the terrace of the cafeteria, you can look out and see the dome.

You can also see Palazzo Vecchio from the terrace of the cafeteria.

Portrait of Lucrezia Panciatichi, 1545. Lucrezia di Sigismondo Pucci was the wife of Bartolomeo Panciatichi, a Florentine humanist and politician. The painting by Bronzino seems quite natural. Take a look at her refined garments and jewelry. They are so fancy.

Maria de' Medici was the eldest daughter of Cosimo I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany. She was painted by Bronzino when she was eleven.

Portrait of Giovanni de' Medici as a Child, 1543. This portrait by the Florentine artist Agnolo Bronzino depicts him at the age of eighteen months. The chubby cheerful toddler holds a goldfinch in his hand.

Madonna with the Long Neck, 1534-1540. It is a very stylized painting by Parmigianino. The movement is mannerism. Mannerism is known for elongated proportions, highly stylized poses, and the absence of clear perspective. See the baby’s body is unusually long. He may have been the tallest baby in the world.

Venice of Urbino, 1538. This painting by Titian was scandalous at the time. Before this painting, nude women in the paintings were always portrayed as shy individuals looking away. In this painting, the nude Venus just looks straight to demand eye contact.

Bacchus by Caravaggio focuses on the imperfections and limitations of the mortal being.

Medusa by Caravaggio, around 1597. In Greek mythology, Medusa is a female monster with snakes in place of hair. Looking into her eyes would turn spectators to stone. Is it me or Caravaggio’s Medusa looks like a man?

It is a lot of fun to read about the stories behind the artworks after seeing them in person because everything just makes sense and the details are more memorable.

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