Existing Member?


Uffizi Gallery: One Step Up at a Time

ITALY | Saturday, 25 September 2021 | Views [160]

"Birth of Venus"—a Real Crowd Pleaser, Uffizi Gallery

ONE PAYS A PRICE TO VISIT THE UFFIZI—and the €20 ticket cost is only the beginning. Now you have your temperature scanned and show your Covid “Green Card” followed by an airline-like security check. After making your way through a tunnel maze you’re confronted by the 160-stair climb to the third-floor where, out of breathe and sweating, you can begin the journey through the art of the Renaissance. 


       Worth the Climb

It's fitting that so much of what you'll see was done by Sandro Bottecelli, Florence's own "homeboy."


             Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli

 I wasn’t overly impressed by my first exposure to Renaissance art ten years ago. In other words, I know what I like. In further words, religious paintings aren’t my cup of tea. Older now and hopefully wiser I have a new appreciation for the art.


       "Suite Mary Blue-Eyes" San Barnaba Altarpiece by Sandro Botticell

We spent two hours covering the first 20 rooms, studying the paintings and following the evolution of style. It doesn’t upset me (much) that Mary looks like a California Girl or Jesus sports six-pack abs and bulging biceps. The fact that the artists could depict real, anatomically-correct, three-dimensional people is the lesson. The faces in Ghirlandaio’s Adoration of the Magi, for example, are real faces and Leonardo’s version of the same scene, though unfinished, shows perspective. 


           Faces in the Crowd from Ghirlandaio's "Adoration of the Magi"

To my plebeian mind Botticelli exhibits the best and worst examples. He is best known for his Birth of Venus, the shy redhead served on the half-shell. In his San Barnaba Altarpiece an unbelievably blue-eyed Mary holds chubby Jesus. Really? 


            m            nn

                    Lamentation Over the Body of Christ by Sandro Botticelli

Yet he can paint with incredible detail. His drawing of Lamentation over the Body of Christ is amazing. And the hands he paints have fingernails and creases—you can almost see the loops and whorls.


It's a shame Botticelli himself may have destroyed so much of his work in the infamous "Bonfire of the Vanities" right in his hometown.




About graynomadsusa

The Vagabonds at Cobh, Ireland

Follow Me

Where I've been


Photo Galleries

My trip journals

See all my tags 



Travel Answers about Italy

Do you have a travel question? Ask other World Nomads.