(The fresco is on the left side of the picture, the panel next to the balcony in the back of the room)
(Here it is again, on the right side of the photo. I had no idea when I took the picture that it was the center of such mystery!)
(And because I have the maturity level of a fifteen year old, I included a photo of this statue, which is right below the fresco. I snicker every time I see it. I'm not proud of this, but it is funny)
Any story about Florence is naturally going to capture my interest, but I particularly loved this one. I've been in that room in the Palazzo Vecchio and it's an incredible space. There's a Michelangelo sculpture, among many others, as well as dozens of rooms that are simply breathtaking. I can't vouch for my impartiality though.
One of the things I loved best about the documentary was the passionate debate about exactly what needed to be done, and how and where. After all, even though they were searching for a lost da Vinci, they still had to make tiny holes in another masterpiece. So many reputations were on the line and no one wanted to be the one who gave the green light to a procedure that ended up knocking and entire fresco onto the floor in a cloud of dust and horror. On the other hand, they all wanted to be the ones who discovered a work of art that had been missing for nearly 500 years. I understand there was a certain amount of posturing and politics and ego behind some of the debate, but that doesn't take away from the wonderful notion of people fighting over a painting. Lives didn't hang in the balance, but they argued as if they did and I find this pretty cool.
I guess I just love that there are people out there who have dedicated their lives to the study of these wonderful creations that, to be honest, don't serve any real purpose other than to speak to the soul. These people are committed to preserving and protecting the art for as long as possible, acting as stewards for an artist who has been gone for centuries.
Something that made an impression on me the first time I visited Italy was how important to mankind these works of art truly are. I didn't feel like I was seeing a part of Italian history and culture, I felt like I was seeing something that belonged to every human being everywhere. I was seeing something of beauty created by a regular person just like me who had good days and bad days, who drank wine and complained about taxes, who bonked his head or got sunburned, who laughed with his friends or liked the smell of grass. It's hard to picture the human behind the art, but it's there and when I see it and feel it, I feel a connection that is stronger than nationality and time.
Perhaps I'm overly sentimental, but this is the kind of stuff rolling around in my head. Watching this National Geographic documentary gave me goosebumps and reminded me of all the things I love about my Italy.
- Current Mood: contemplative