10 November 2018

Academy and thereabouts

I’d expected lines at L’Accademia but no. I walked straight in. This is one of the two top attractions with the Uffizi. It’s the home of David, Michelangelo’s huge statue and probably the symbol of the Renaissance humanism. I walked through. It was moderately busy but this gallery is pleasantly small. There are statues and paintings, presumably as examples for the students of art, of David’s era or before, there was a gallery of plaster casts, again for students, and a small collection of musical instruments. That included a quintet of strings by Stradivarius, once owned by the Medici and two early double basses, on small with 3 strings next to one large with 5. There were some diminutive timpani. David was huge and impressive but we all know the scene so well from pics so no surprise. Then the Museum of Pietra Dura. It’s something odd and apparently particularly Florentine, the art of inlayed polished stones used to create images. Again, a favourite of the Medici. It’s used on table tops, for panels as in paintings, for altars and various boxes and household products for the rich. Amusing and quite stunning when done well. It glows with colour and keeps its colour indefinitely. It’s sometimes in relief. L’Accademia and the Museo delle pietre dure are in Florence.

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