the uffizi, a day with botticelli

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One of the things that drove me in planning this trip was the idea that I could stand face to face with art that I had studied in college in books. One of the artists that impacted me was botticelli. I can't explain why I latched on to this particular artist. It is kind of like trying to explain your favorite flavor, you aren't sure why you like raspberry, you just know that you do. In particular Primavera is the painting that leapt out of my art history book 20 years ago and whispered, "come see me". Since that moment I got married, had a son, started a career, changed careers, and owned a gallery/cappucino bar that, with the help of my sister, painted a copy of a section of this painting on one of the walls. Someone might call that obsession. Anyway It was one of the driving forces in planning this trip.

One thing, if you ever plan to visit this gallery make a reservation for the day (and time) you want to go. This is one of the moments where all my trip research paid off. I had read somewhere that if you just tried to "pop in" to this famous gallery you would likely stand in line for four hours or more. It's true. The day we went I had my little reservation slip in hand at the 10:30 am time(our reservation) and we waltzed right in past a huge line. While doing so I noticed a sign that had been posted that reservations were all booked for that day. I can't even imagine how disappointing that would have been.

The uffizi houses a good chunk of the worlds great art. The other major chunk is in the louvre. Unlike the louvre palace with its marble floors and regal spacious rooms where art hangs like it belongs, the uffizi was more confining, musty and in need of attention. A lot of the artwork was behind glass (unlike the louvre) and gave you the impression that the italians were a little more paranoid than the french (about their art). The uffizi also allowed no photos, not just no tripod, but no photos, period. So I put my camera away. This was ok with me because I really didn't need to work today, I came to visit with an old friend. The rooms are laid out chronologically and I had to really hold myself back from not running through the first few hundred years worth of art before getting to botticelli(1482), after all, there was a mindblowing number of masterpieces to see.

Finally we entered the "botticelli room" and there she was (this is where blair cries, again) "the birth of venus" and "primavera" on adjacent walls, with several other of sandro's works. You can study these things in books, but honestly there is nothing like looking at the real thing. I don't know how long Bryan and I spent in this room, but it was an extended amount before taking our audio guide through the rest of the gallery. What I didn't know at the time was although separated from Daniel who I thought was a room or two ahead of us in the gallery, he had actually gone back to the botticelli room where we found him hours later with his sketch book sketching the venus. Another botticelli fan was born.

No pictures were allowed but Bryan managed to snap this one with his phone to mark this momentous occasion for me. I am so glad that he did. Here I stand in front of "primavera".


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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Blair published on July 7, 2005 9:12 AM.

zurich to florence was the previous entry in this blog.

florence baptistry and service with the benedictines is the next entry in this blog.

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