Sunday, February 15, 2009

Florence - turned a new leaf

So I understand Florence now. I overheard the owner of my hostel telling a new resident about the city. "This is a city of museums," he said. "You have to go to at least two or three while you are here." When I made the previous post, I hadn't actually stepped foot in any of them yet. That was a mistake. Unfortunately, I left Florence after only seeing one.

Perhaps it's for the best, though, because now I left wanting to go back. I know there's a lot in that city I haven't seen, and now I have a completely different opinion of the city in general. Florence is and has been a city of travelers. Whether they're merchants or tourists, travelers have flocked to this city for centuries, which is fascinating in itself. In all these museums, you read about the paintings and where they came from. During the Renaissance, all of the artists knew each other and met and worked in these cities that are famous today. Some of the greatest art in the world was created in this city and much of it still rests here today.

I saw the Statue of David and was extremely impressed. First off, it's huge, much bigger than the pictures show. I don't understand how one person could have carved it on such a large scale. There are veins that run down his arms and hands. I never realized that before. But altogether... there was something strange about him. You read that his hands and head are large in proportion to the rest of his body and you can see it immediately when you look at the whole statue. His hands are huge. But, somehow it works. It should look odd, but it looks extremely balanced and perfect when you see it. He is supposed to look pensive and calm. It was his innocense that defeated Goliath (which was inspiration to the city at that point in history for some reason). I wonder if that has to do with his hands and head. By having large features and a small body, that may remind us of youth.

Anyway, it was good to see. The museum that housed it was small, but the artwork that was in it was awesome. There were huge paintings, most of which I really enjoyed.

Did you know that the lily is a symbol of purity, which is why it is traditionally placed in most "L'Annunciazione" paintings? So when I was making fun of that painting of Mary before [link], asking why the angel would have brought flowers, I was actually jabbing at something that obviously follows the tradition of the time. The flowers weren't placed in there to be part of the scene, but where placed as a neccessary symbol instead.

Needlesstosay, I have a much more different oppinion of Florence than I did yesterday. It just goes to show that you should never judge a city until you really understand why it is the way it is. There are good aspects to every city, sometimes it just takes a bit longer to find them.

1 comment:

Book Look Column Author said...

Florence is one of my favorites, after Venice which my #1, and before Sienna my #3.