The Accademia, more than just Michelangelo’s David – 3/19/17

Today was a rough day for everyone. Sarah woke up at 12:30 AM and could not go back to sleep and my back, knee, and feet were aching. It was a rough day for John because he had to put up with our grumpy selves.

We start early and arrive at the Accademia (art museum) shortly after they open. As the day advances they often have colossal lines and we want to avoid that. We walk in totally unimpeded by crowds. Although taking a look at the David is something one wants to save like dessert, we decide it is best to enjoy this fabulous piece of art before the hall gets too crowded.

The setting is quite impressive. You walk down a rather long room that has many of Michelangelo’s unfinished sculptures to a rotunda where the David stands bathed in light from above. Even though the David is plastered on everything here from aprons to beer steins, when you see the sculpture in person it takes your breath away.

Michelangelo’s David

Such a beautiful face!
I think my favorite part is his hand

Okay, so after we can tear ourselves away we head back down the hallway to see some of the unfinished sculptures. They appear to be struggling to free themselves from the their marble blocks. You can see the the bold chisel marks, the small gouges, and some polished parts as well.

I feel a visceral desire to throw of this stone entrapping the “Prisoner’s” head

The Accademia showcases works from the 13th century to Mannerism in the 16th century.  Michelangelo may be the star of this collection but there are lots of other great pieces. Here we find Job again but all dressed up and with a sign that says in Latin “He is my savior.” No doubt that God won and Satan lost when it came to testing Job’s faith.

Moses is often depicted with horns in Renaissance art. Is it because he was Jewish? Probably not because the translation about Moses from the Aramaic states that he had two rays (horns) of light emanating from his head, 15th century.

Moses with fire-y cornu or horns

Here’s a 15th century Annunciation. They were still working out proportions.  If Mary stood up she would hit her head on the ceiling!

If the BVM stands up she will hit her head

Ever wonder why people think that dinosaurs and people existed at the same time? This picture of St. Michael slaying the dragon supports the idea that dinosaur-like creatures and humans were wandering around during Biblical times.

St. Michael and a dragon

In the work below, Perugino of the expressionless faces has painted the bottom of the Deposition. His younger counterpart, Filipino Lippi has painted the top. Look at the gaily streaming sashes more representative of some happy event. This is the mullet of paintings – All party in the top and all business in the bottom.

Perugino/Lippi mullet painting

This painting of Santa Barbara (identifiable by the tower next to her) was X-rayed before restoration….

St. Barbara’s rediscovered 6th toe

….it was discovered she had a 6th toe!

Santa Barbara’s sixth toe

This little gallery of paintings from the 13th and `14th century illustrates how quickly art was changing.

Needless to say we were very thorough looking through the Accademia. And now we are very tired. It is well after lunch. We decide to go to the new Mercato Centrale . It looks like the beginnings of a wonderful food hall.  There all sorts of purveyors and we pick up some meat, salami, and bread. We also stop for some Malaga gelato!

Mercado Centrale

I am dead on my feet. We decide to go back to the apartments for a little sit-down and end up falling asleep until supper! Tonight we dine at Buca Mario, a restaurant where John and I ate our first meal in Florence with his Oracle comrades. It is the fanciest place we have been to. After dinner it is no problem to fall asleep.

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