Saturday, 14 May 2011

Florence, frescoes and grottos

The last few days have been a flurry of activity and assimilation after the trip to Florence and Arezzo. I got seriously carried away by the Grotteschi which are the decorations made by renaissance artists on buildings - mostly interiors, mainly on ceilings so far that I have seen (Vatican Museum, Uffizzi Gallery)..

I really like the symmetry (with my own research intentions for coming here) of their history. When the ancient Roman sites were first discovered, a lot of it was under ground and could only be seen by climbing down with torches and candles. The Renaissance artists became fascinated with the frescoes and artworks which they saw when climbing down into the excavations. The roman sites became known as grottos and the artists recreated and reinterpreted much of these on their own walls and ceilings, calling them Grotteschi. They also became fascinated with the idea of grottos and made their own too. I saw a few when I was in the Boboli Gardens in Florence

We also saw tons of frescoes not only in museums like San Marco (which is one of my favourite places on Earth) but in the fabulous churches such as Santa Croce (another favourite)

And also at Santa Croce is this fabulous cloister, which I have loved since 1986 when I first saw it..

In Arezzo we revisited after 24 years the Piero frescoes of the Story of the True Cross in the church of San Francesco - the last time we saw them was on our honeymoon and they were just about to be restored, so what we could see was quite dark and covered in scaffold. So it was wonderful to see them fully restored and can't take photographs but here's an image I found on the web to give you an idea, with the beautiful Cimabue crucifix in front..

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