Friday, September 25, 2009

My Italy sketchbook...the last day of Florence

On our last day in Florence we had no scheduled tours or museums, so we took a relaxing stroll and headed towards the Medici Chapels which are at the back of the Church of St. Lorenzo. In fact, the chapel is so un-assuming, and there was no line anywhere nearby, that we actually first waited in line at the front of the church. When we were about to purchase the tickets to go in, I said "I want to see this" - pointing to the image of Michelangelo's Tomb of Lorenzo. The guide said "You want the entrance at the back of the church".So we headed towards the back, and as you can see there was only a very short line. The construction set-up also hid the entrance a bit. I don't know if it's always this quiet - but let me tell you - if it is, you should definitely add it to your must-see list. Once inside, again no pictures were allowed, I was totally unprepared for how gorgeous the inside of the Chapel of the Princess was (I was too busy thinking about Michelangelo's sculptures!) The chapel is stunning - a wide variety of dark marbles, with amazing in-lays and artwork, incredible sculptures, gorgeous paintings on the ceilings. Even the fact that it had a scaffolding set up for restoration work couldn't take away from it's breath-taking beauty. Pictures do not do it justice.Then we ventured further into the New Sacristy to spend time looking at the tomb of Lorenzo, Duke of Urbino and the Duke of Nemours. I spent several minutes sketching the figure of Dusk. It was a surreal moment to be in the presence of the amazing sculptures. (all the more surreal when a cell phone rang. The colliding of two worlds... Michelangelo's 1500's sculptures and our 2000+ technology. I couldn't imagine what he would think of our world today!)

I chose to draw "Dusk" because I had always thought, in pictures, that the figure looked like a male model with two breasts just "stuck" on as an afterthought (ok - add some boobs - now it's a woman) But in actuality, seeing her in person, she was much more feminine. Tranquil, lovely. I was so thrilled I had a chance to draw for a while. I would have stayed and drew all the sculptures if I had the time!
After that wonderful experience we ate a delicious lunch at a cafe right outside the door of the Chapel. It was one of the best lunches I had! A vegetable quiche that was to die for (I keep looking for a similar recipe to no avail!)

On our way back to our hotel, we walked past the Church of Santa Maria Novella and decided to take a short detour to check out the inside.

The side door.

A door in the courtyard. Again, no photographs from the inside, but it was a lovely church and very ornate. I was also taken by surprise to see this painting, Massacio's Trinity, hanging in the church. I recognized it from many Art History classes.
What was also interesting was the information regarding the facade of the Church and a couple features I had previously ignored...two different Sundials.

Before we knew it, the sun was setting and our time in Florence was coming to an end.

David near the Arno river as we watched the sun set.

We had one last delicious meal at a lovely restaurant (don't you love these turquoise doors?) then went back to the hotel - the next day - we head to Rome!


Mary Lynne said...

Hi Kristina - I just came across your blog when I was searching for info on the enormous head sculpture in the Boboli Gardens and it was like I was in Florence all over again. I kept expecting to see me in some of your pictures! :) I was in Florence from September 19 thru October 5, 2009, with three days in Montefioralle, a little village high above Greve.

I, too, have a blog with lots of photos of that wonderful trip - I should look back through them and see if I find you. :)

I've added a lot to the blog since then, but if you'd like to see any of my trip, the address is and I'd be delighted to share my experiences with you - just scroll down til you come to the archives and look at September and October in 2009.

And thanks for your blog - your trip being at the same time as mine, and visiting so many of the same places, made it very real to me.

Krystyna81 said...

Mary Lynne, What a delightful note! Thank you for letting me know that you enjoyed my was such a wonderful trip, I still revel in the beauty of the pictures!

I'm about to go a click on your blog...I'm sure we walked the same streets :)