Although rain and overcast skies had been predicted, we woke up this morning to bright blue skies and glorious sunshine. It actually took me a few moments to realize what was going on – I knew things looked different but it didn’t initially occur to me that the reason for that was because there were no low clouds hanging in the sky for a change.
We washed a load of clothes and hung them up, and – shock and awe! – almost everything was dry in a couple of hours. We’ve been having to hang our things up around the house and over the radiators the past several days in order to get our clothes dry so this made the sunshine even more appreciated.
In the early afternoon we set out to visit L’Accademia, with a stop for gelato along the way. As we were walking, my worst nightmare came true: I tripped and fell. My foot hit the edge of a broken cobblestone which threw me off balance and down I went. Several people rushed over to help, and one young man offered to call an ambulance, but thankfully all that was damaged was my pride – I did not hit my head or break or even sprain anything. It could have been a lot worse though.
We arrived at the museum at around 3:45 and there was NO LINE. Nothing – we walked right in a and bought our tickets just like that. There were others in the museum, but it wasn’t crowded at all and we had time to look at everything and not feel pressured or overwhelmed.
Michelangelo’s David was purely gorgeous. The statue stands under a glass dome, and with today’s sunshine he was bathed in natural light to breathtaking effect. Both Brett and I took our time examining the beautiful work. I had never noticed before how huge David’s hands are, but they are another example of Michelangelo size and proportion to great effect.
We also were able to see several statues that Michelangelo had begun but never finished, and it was quite something to view his chisel work in various stages, up close.
One room at the museum was filled with plaster models for sculptures and busts. At first we wondered about all the marks on the statues, but learned they were measurements for the plaster models to be reassembled and for the artist to use as they chiseled the stone. Some of the original plaster molds from the Renaissance are still being used today to make reproductions.
The museum also holds a wonderful collection of Renaissance musical instruments, including some Stradivari stringed instruments, early harpsichords, and both wind and brass instruments.
And of course there were numerous Renaissance paintings, all glorious. I always enjoy looking at the facial expressions in the paintings. Usually they are fairly generic and clearly show what the person is experiencing – sadness, anguish, happiness, calm, etc. – but some times you have to wonder what the artist had in mind when he painted a particular expression on a face. More than a few of the artists seem to lack skill in painting babies.
We had planned to stop for a pizza before coming home, but both of our favorite restaurants were closed so we ended up enjoying wine, cheese, salami and crackers at home. It was a beautiful day!