I went to Florence – Italy for a couple of days after a friend’s wedding in Rome, just by myself, armed with shaky knowledge of European art, but giddy with excitement. Uffizi Gallery is one of the oldest and the most famous art museums. In fact, Florence the city is the most famous for Renaissance art – the whole city felt like an open air museum. I’m going to talk about Florence another day. This time I’m presenting my 10 most memorable paintings in Uffizi Gallery.
1. Boticelli – Birth of Venus
Venus emerging out of a shell is easily the highlight of the gallery. We see photos of this painting everywhere, but I was a bit surprised to find that the colors of the real one aren’t as vibrant as the photos. It is an old painting after all. But the size is epic.
2. Boticelli – Allegory of Spring
I only give one slot per painter in this list, except for Boticelli. Primavera (Allegory of Spring) is so rich. Looking at the number of characters alone, there are a few storylines running that can be learned about for a while.
3. Filippo Lippi – Madonna and Child
4. Leonardo da Vinci – Annunciation
Thought to be Leonardo’s earliest complete work.
5. Michelangelo – Holy Family (Doni Tondo)
Michelangelo is the rockstar of Renaissance era, but he was largely a sculptor. This painting is the only panel painting of his that survives. The round frame is also uncommon.
6. Raphael – Madonna of the Goldfinch
Raphael’s strokes are so soft and his depiction of babies (and baby angels) are always so good.
7. Titian (Tiziano) – Venus of Urbino
Erotic painting of domestic Venus – controversial in its time.
8. Caravaggio – Bacchus
Dramatic lighting of Caravaggio’s is always a delight.
Caravaggio – Medusa
I am sneakily slipping in another of Caravaggio – easily one of my favorite Italian painters. How scary is Medusa here? Again, dramatic lighting. If he were a 21st century photographer with digital photo editor, he would have used Clarity tool and Vignette effect a lot 🙂 (that’s Mee, oops!)
9. Paulo Ucello – Battle of San Romano
This is painting of epic proportion in size. The Battle of San Romano is a set of three paintings: one in Uffizi – Florence, one in National Gallery – London, and one in du Louvre – Paris. What a shame that they cannot be hung side by side as they should be. By this point of time I assume each gallery hangs on to its own for dear life, making the possibility for them to be reunited miniscule.
10. Jean-Etienne Liotard – Marie Adelaide of France
This little painting of Marie Adelaide reading in Turkish style dress was tucked in the section of foreign painters in Uffizi, somewhere at the end of a long route around the gallery. I was especially happy to see it, as I was familiar with the image but didn’t know any details about it – who painted it, who was posing, and where the physical painting was. It’s always a delight when finding a familiar painting in a gallery by accident.
Sneaking one last painting:
Federico da Montefeltro or Duke of Urbino by Piero della Francesca
This must be one of the most comical profile paintings ever made. Look at his nose!
I’ve been meaning to post more about art and paintings on Wandering Mee, as it is one of my interest and passion. Hope this will kick start more posts of the like in the future!