How Did They Do That?!…Florence (Firenze)

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I will start by saying that I feel totally inadequate to represent Florence in either my pictures or my words.

I’m sure most everyone has seen photographs of everything that Florence has to offer, so I am simply showing a few things that stood out…more than any other things?..No, not necessarily, but I had to start somewhere.

 

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We only spent a day in Florence which is the first drawback.  We could have spent a month and not felt as if I had actually gotten a full taste.

 

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Our first priorities were to see Michelangelo’s David and then visit the Uffizi where I wanted to see firsthand any Caravaggio’s that they might have. I’m only including a couple of details from the David.  There are MANY pictures of it, all over the world, but I was particularly astounded by the detail and the size…17 feet tall (5.17 meters)   How did he do that?

David's foot

 

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The Caravaggios…One of the most fascinating artists from the 1500’s, not only in talent, but also for the fact that a good part of his adult life was spent on the run from the law…

Caravaggio Bacchus

Himself as Bacchus, painted while looking in a mirror.

Incredulity of Thomas

The Incredulity of Thomas

 

Caravaggio Medusa

Medusa, painted on a wooden shield for one of the Medicis.

 

 

But the Duomo…I mean, really, how did they do that?

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The building was started in 1296 and completed in 1436 with the ‘crowning touch’ being Brunelleschi’s dome which is still the largest masonry dome in the world…But the detail in every building, every altar, every window casement, every statue….

 

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Duomo 2 detail

 

 

Altar detail

 

 

Duomo 1

 

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I heard a great story on a BBC program called “Italy’s Invisible Cities” where they talked about Brunelleschi getting the dome ‘contract’.

He was untrained as an architect but when they  gathered all the ‘bidders’ together, he brought out an egg and proposed that whoever among them could stand the egg up on its end was worthy of the project and should therefore get the commission.  After all others had failed, Brunelleschi tapped the end of the egg on the table until it cracked and then he stood it on its end.  When the others protested that he had not said they could crack it, he replied that if they couldn’t figure that out, then they were unfit for a project as massive as the dome….!  Bam!

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When we returned to Nashville and I looked at all of the new buildings going up I couldn’t help but realize that in Florence, in that time, they were building monuments to God and mankind meant to withstand history, not steel and glass that may not withstand the current popular trends.

 

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The lifespan at that time was approximately 40, so a 150 year building project would encompass about 4 generations of artists and masons. This marble mosaic floor may have been started by a man and finished by his great grandson….!

 

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No cranes, no power tools, just passion and dedication to a cause, a project…

Oh…don’t get me wrong… there were some modern things in Florence.

 

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Street performer

And then, the train ride back to Montecatini Terme

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After a wonderful dinner of Gnocchi in Pear/Gorgonzola sauce we get ready to drive through Chianti…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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~ by rkpowers on October 15, 2017.

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