A painter should begin every canvas with a wash of black, because all things in nature are dark except where exposed by the light. ~ Leonardo da Vinci
It’s daybreak on Venice Beach and the sun targets the local pier for a hit of warmth and color. The weathered structure is suddenly transformed into art, light accentuating the etchings worked by the sea and the beautiful symmetry of its industrial design. In a few hours the same sun will bleach the cement pilings of color and the tide will swallow loudly the layers of ocean carvings. The desolate pier will become alive with human activity, and the artistry will evolve again.
The fluctuating temperatures plunged our garage into a greenhouse effect the other morning, covering the windows with a thick layer of condensation. I took advantage of the steamy conditions and focused on a favorite rose that was making a dreamy climb along the window frame. In love with the results, I thought I’d share my “condensation art.”
When I think of Florence I think of the soft shades of ochre, the wealth of Renaissance art, the sunlit piazzas, the food(!) I think of Michelangelo and his David, a symbol of heroic courage. I think of the Uffizi Gallery and the breathtaking Caravaggio exhibit and the cherished poster I bought knowing it would get crushed in my suitcase, (and it did.) I think of how my legs ached because of the fun but killer bike trip we took to Siena that week. Finally I remember it as being one of the few places where it’s amazing history was so distracting that I forgot to take many pictures! Here are some of the few.
The Duomo of Florence took almost 600 years to build and the cupola designed by Filippo Brunelleschi is considered the greatest architectural achievement in Florence. So taken with it’s design, Michelangelo used it as inspiration while designing St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
A graceful arched entrance to the courtyard of the Uffizi Gallery. Home to a priceless collection of Renaissance art and other masterpieces, including Sandro Botticelli’s Birth of Venus and Leonardo da Vinci’s Annunciation, the Uffizi is one of the world’s oldest museums. The palazzo that houses the gallery was designed by architect and painter Giorgio Vasari and begun in 1560 for Cosimo I de’Medici, grand duke of Tuscany. Originally built as government offices (uffizi), the building became a venue for the display of art in 1574, when Cosimo’s son Francesco I transformed the top floor into a place “to walk in with paintings, sculptures and other precious things.”*
A view of the Duomo’s cupola from the rooftop terrace of the Uffizi.
The “Hospital of the Innocence”, also known as Spedale degli Innocenti in Italian, was a children’s orphanage designed by Filippo Brunelleschi in 1419. The hospital, facing Santissima Annunziata square with its loggia, is one of the best examples of the Italian Renaissance architecture.
Pretty setting, pretty bridge, pretty sunset.
The lovely River Arno.
A replica of the beloved Michelangelo’s David casts a dramatic shadow on the facade of the Palazzo Vecchio.