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26 June 2015

Trip to Uffizi

From time to time, I need to go and see some art. Even if I’ve already seen it; even if I don’t have much time to do it; but to me, art is vital. For this reason, last Sunday I decided to go back to the Uffizi Gallery. I’d been around four times before, but I still felt like I didn’t know it quite enough.
The queue wasn’t a long one for a Sunday. I also managed to get a free ticket as an arts student (make sure you mention you're an arts student if you want a discount! ;). As I went up the steep stairs in pietra serena (a typical type of stone in Florence and Tuscany which I'm in love with), I wondered what I would feel like this time.
The next entrance, a corridor leading to the main gallery, displayed lines of statues; even though they were quite simple artworks, they brought a majestic presence even as introductory objects. As I entered the gallery itself, I was overwhelmed by the stunning ceiling. I stopped and looked around. Light was filtering from broad windows and I could not see the end of the corridor. It felt a bit like a dream.
Most of the rooms were completely bare, but contained some of the most amazing paintings of all time. The choice of placing two of Duccio’s and Giotto’s holy triptychs in the first room is great as an introduction. Even though that wasn’t my favourite part of the museum I couldn’t help admiring the power of the gold as well as blue and red in the artworks. It's crazy to think that from the Middle Ages until today colours can still be intact thanks to restoration.

I then moved on to paintings of the Renaissance and spent a while in Botticelli's room. I was surprised by how dark the Birth of Venus and the Primavera are, considering that they have been restored quite recently. That, of course, didn't matter much as I stared, feeling goose bumps as I thought that centuries ago the artist who made them stood in my samespot, painting them.


My other favourite paintings were Tiziano's venuses (I love Venere di Urbino) which were spread around the museum.
 Tribuna Hall - The top painting on the right is Venus with Organist and Cupid by Tiziano.
 Tondo Doni by Michelangelo
 Portrait of Eleonora of Toledo with her son Giovanni by Bronzino

A room that I fell in love with was the neoclassical Sala della Niobe (Niobe's Hall) where a variety of statues were exposed in extravagant poses. They depicted the myth of Niobe, a proud mother who boasted having more children than Leto, a goddess and mother of Apollo and Phoebe; in revenge, the goddess punished Niobe by killing all of her sons and daughters (represented by the statues).
Obviously I enjoyed the view from the windows, showing Florence from the top. From the middle, I recognised the same view that Rossellini used to shoot one of the episodes of the World War II film Paisà - I have to say that the contrast between a square full of happy tourists and a few Nazi soldiers ready to kill was quite intense.


The Uffizi gallery is a wonderful museum - unique, surprising, breathtaking. However, every time that I go back I get the same feeling about its organisation. Not good. The spectator isn't guided well through the museum, the captions often being uninteresting and rich with information you'll soon forget. I'd rather read about the story of the painting than the series dates it evolved around. Besides, the rooms are often completely bare and have cracks in the walls. Of course, I didn't focus on this while looking at the paintings - but as a Florentine I'd love to see the main museum of my town being cared for a bit more.

If you haven't been to the Uffizi and you love art like me, put it on your bucket list. It's a must-see museum in Florence, with both its good and bad aspects. After all, what will stay in your memory will surely be Venus's kind, crystal eyes.

24 comments:

  1. wonderful pics. did you go to the cathedral to see the dome? it's an amazing story on how the dome was created.

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  2. Thank you! I went there some years ago, it's so beautiful... They still haven't figured out the way the dome was made (specifically how the bricks have been put together, in a way that no architect ever used before) - I find that fascinating. But that's all I remember from my History of Art classes :)

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  3. I saw a PBS special on how one guy thinks the dome was created. I think he was pretty close as to how they managed to do it. regardless, it's a remarkable feat of engineering.

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  4. I've never had an eye for art, but I really wish I did! This sounds incredibly lovely and I wish I had the capacity and mind to appreciate it. xoxo

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  5. Such beautiful photos, I'm not a art enthusiasts but I can really appreciate them! Great post (:

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  6. Last semester I took an art appreciation/education class and we had an entire unit on the Renaissance. The Birth of Venus is such a gorgeous painting in class and on printer paper, I can't imagine how it'd look up close. I still remember learning about it being an allegorical painting, one full of stories. This was such a cool trip, Assia! (Super envious that you got to go and for free!)

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  7. These are absolutely gorgeous photos!! I've been to Florence a couple of years ago and it's nothing but majestic over there. Thanks for sharing!! :)

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  8. Ahah... As a Florentine I've never liked Florence and though I'm an artist I'm not very keen on some of its art either.
    Florence used to be OK decades ago but it has become too chaotic, over crowded and commercialized.
    There are nicer and more peaceful cities in Tuscany I feel such as: Siena, Lucca, Pistoia, San Geminiano, etcetera. As for its art I like very much and I've been influenced by the early Florentine painters such a Masaccio, Piero Della Francesca, Fra Angelico, Giotto, Pisanello and so on but the art that came after them though it produced great artists such as Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Botticelli and so on it was too focused on portraying the rich and the powerful for my taste.
    Of course the architecture is spectacular but I've never been a great lover of architecture so I can't appreciate it as much as others do.

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  9. Wonderful post. Thanks for the museum tour! Florence is a must see city for me anyway just because of the rich artistic history. I imagine the city itself is a visual treat!

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  10. You know, I think that appreciating art is a process. You can't just be born and appreciate art, you need to learn how to do it. I was taught by my mum and at school - in Italy we have a strong art culture, but that doesn't happen everywhere. If you want to start appreciating art, maybe start by looking at the most famous artworks and thinking of why they are interesting? I hope this helps! Thanks for your kind words <3

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  11. Thanks Summer! I love art, I think it enriches our life experience in a beautiful way and everyone should try appreciating it. I understand you as The Birth of Venus is one of my favourites too :)

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  12. Thank you so much Lor! I agree, Florence is a beautiful city :)

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  13. I'm sorry about your negative opinion on Florence. It's one of my favourite cities in the world and I love living here when I'm off campus. Tuscany offers other lovely towns but I don't think that any of them is as beautiful as Florence. Quindi sei fiorentino / a?

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  14. Thank you for your kind words <3 it's definitely worth a visit. I love living here when I'm off campus and just walking around city centre casually. Haha :)

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  15. I've yet to make it to Florence, but I'm determined to do so one day :) You obviously enjoyed your Uffizi visit. Many thanks for the follow.

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  16. Thank you for passing by! You'll love Florence :)

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  17. Si fiorentino. But of Sicilian parents. Oddly enough though I've been to Sicily only once when I was 16, that's a long time ago, I feel myself to be more Sicilian than fiorentino and proud of it. But I speak fiorentino.

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  18. […] Just Words And Just Music Gary Gautier – The Architecture of Narrative Assia Shahin – Uffizi Galore Jay Dee Archer – Authors Answer 33 – The Writing Process Timothy Pike – “Doing […]

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  19. Thanks so much for nominating me! I really appreciate it. :)

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  20. Thank you! I'm glad you did :)

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