Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Italia I

I returned home from Italy last night after a 12-day whirl wind of travel - first to Rome, then up to the majestic Tuscan hills, then back to Rome and staying inside a convent for several days (no, I'm not Catholic - just curious.)
Before I left for Italy, I spoke with a young artist who had traveled to Italy while studying art in college. She spoke about the renewed inspiration for her art that she found in Florence, a place I ended up visiting for one day last week. I can see why she felt that way.
The Uffizi Gallery, located in the heart of that glorious yet frenetic city, could give any artist or creative person a dose or two of spark. But perhaps "spark" is too mild a term. I think I'll call it "lightning." This gallery contains the greatest overall collection of Italian paintings anywhere in the world. It offers visitors a look at art treasures from Medieval times to the Renaissance. I had read about and seen some of these works over the years in books - art by Raphael, da Vinci, Botticelli. "How did they do this?" I wondered. The detail, the sheer size of the canvases was beyond comprehension. No matter where I stood - whether far away or close to a painting - the passion for what these artists did was evident in every brush stroke.
As I strolled from room to room, the beauty of it all overwhelmed me. It was just too much. At one point, as I walked down one of the long hallways of the Uffizi, I stepped aside and wept. And, yes, just like that young art student, I became inspired.

1 comment:

Cate Masters said...

Oh I hope you post some pics! I'd so love to see them. Did you view the statue of David? When I worked for the state newspaper association, one of the hardboiled publishers said he broke down crying after seeing that, so your reaction to the paintings didn't surprise me. Just made me want to go there all the more!