Art for Art’s sake? Renaissance Florence


Vertiginous symmetries – Florentine palazzi

         “Beauty is truth, truth beauty, – that is all

                    Ye Know on earth, and all ye need to know.”

John Keats, Ode on a Grecian Urn

As a pleasant interlude to mountain adventures, I went to Florence to check out an exhibition on the Renaissance

Those not sensitive enough – or simply not interested – please read on or wait for the next post.

Draped in the elegant, graceful, regular and geometric Renaissance lines, swathed with frescoes, statues, drawings, paintings and mosaics, Florence is quintessentially stylish and impossibly charming.

Domenico Ghirlandaio, Benozzo Gozzoli, Filippo and Filippino Lippi, Arnolfo di Cambio, Desiderio da Settignano, Bernardo Rossellino, Mino da Fiesole …  evocative names, sadly almost forgotten in the years after my MA, have all of a sudden reappeared in my mind. And I am hooked again.

As a friend once told me “ Nature and creation, two fundamental aspects to sense fulfillment”. I strongly agree with him. Art would not exist without nature, and we would not be able to fully grasp its subtleties without it.  Still, swiftly meandering from churches to museums, cloisters to palazzi, exhibitions to art galleries, I started wondering if I, too, am possessed by tick-lists.  Botticelli, Donatello, Michelangelo…  I won’t leave this city until I have seen all of them. Not the best way to keep your sanity, especially if you have to negotiate with maddening crowds. Doesn’t the same apply to our mountain/climbing/running/hiking quests? Driving ourselves mad trying to reach yet another peak? Perhaps. But perhaps not.  I trust most of us are wise enough not to be caught by the frenzy.

Be as it may, I hope you will find some time to cultivate art interests, of any kind, and enrich your soul.


Madonnas adorn most Renaissance buildings


A modern-era Botticelli!


Art, art everywhere.



The splendid geometry of the Cappella de’ Pazzi, a masterpiece by Filippo Brunelleschi.



Fabulous Santa Croce adorns the Florentine skyline.



The amazing shoemaker – Salvatore Ferragamo


Florentine men of the Cinquecento – already handsome back then.


They once belonged to Hermes…


Museums, exhibitions and countless churches…


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