Monthly Archives: March 2012

Bargello Museum

The Bargello was one of my favorite historic sites we have visited in Florence. I loved how there were so many famous artists and great historic pieces from those artists. On the first floor there is Michelangelo’s high renaissance works. The Druken Bacchus sculpted in 1497 was most likely commissioned by Cardinal Raphael Riario and displayed in Jacapo Galli’s Antiquarium. It is a fascinating piece. Michelangelo made the sculpture look drunk, as if it is going to stumble over at any minute. It has hair of grapes and symbolizes how one should drink in moderation. In comparison to Giambologna’s Bacchus created in 1560, Michelangelo’s is unstable and drunk. Giambologna’s is calm and looking down. It’s stance is more solid and stable.

Michelangelo’s Pitti Madonna was carved in 1504 for Bartolommeo Pitti. It’s unfinished surface reminds me of Michelangelo’s Madonna and Child on the Stairs. They both have a similar structure, but compared to one another, you can see the change and growth in Michelangelo’s art. The Pitti Madonna has a lot more depth and definition.

I really liked Baccio Bandinelli’s Adam and Eve statues created in 1550. They were large, created for the high altar of Florence’s Cathedral. Baccio imitated Michelangelo’s figures without their expressive force. The statues were removed from the altar because they disturbed the faithful. The statues were very nice, however, a bit unproportional. Their bodies were carved very well but did not have the muscular defintion as Michelangelo’s David.

Giambologna’s Mercury is an uplifting statue that was built in 1565. It is a bronze piece that is balancing on a gust of wind coming out of Putto’s mouth. It is meant to be seen from all sides. The finger of the statue was once broken off, and if you look close enough you can see where it had to be fixed.

Giambologna’s Turkey, Eagle, Owl were very interesting because these were amongst the first carvings I have seen that were animals. They were executed for the Medici fountain.

In class we have learned about the Sacrifice of Isaac competition panels built in 1401-1402 many times. Lorenzo Ghiberti created one of the doors and Filippo Brunelleschi did the other. Both scenes included the sacrifice of Isaac and it came down to Ghiberti winning the competition. There was an offer for both of them to work on the bronze doors, however Brunelleschi had too much pride to do so. This is around the time when he switched to architecture. Both panels were amazing however; Ghiberti’s panel had three different scenes. Each separated so it wasn’t as crowded. It also had a lot more depth so the scene was scene more clearly then Brunelleschi’s.

Donatello’s first David created in 1406 is located in the Bargello as well. It was built for one of the buttresses of the cathedral. It was placed in front of the Palazzo della Signoria. Donatello’s St. George created 1415-1417 was done for minor guild niche of Armourers and Swordmakers at Orsanmichele. The relief was St. George and the Dragon introduced “riliveo schiacciato”. Donatello’s second David was created in 1425-40. This is the first freestanding bronze nude since classical antiquity. It is adorable and represents the true David in the bible, unlike Michelangelo’s, which is way to old.

Luca della Robbia also is in the Bargello. His Madonna and Child created in 1450, shows the glazed terracotta reliefs with blue background and white figures. He started this style because he was competing with some of the most influential artists to the Renaissance at this period. So he created art that was affordable. His art can be seen all throughout Florence.



Afrika, Moroccan Style!

Three weekends ago, my friend Carly and I visited Morocco. We went through a travel company called Bus2Alps, and thank goodness we did because it could have been a little sketch if we were alone.

In order to get to Morocco, we had to take a train at 6:30am to Milan, another train to Albergo, a bus to the airport, Ryan Air flight to Dusseldorf, and a final flight to Marrakech. And through all of the travel, the trip was completely worth it!

On Friday we started the day off with a tour of the city. We walked through many many streets full of shops selling jewelry, spices, clothes, shoes, meat, lamps, and everything else you can imagine! We went into a palace and school of Islam. The architecture was amazing and so different then Europe.

Following the tour we visited a Moroccan pharmacy. I thought this was going to be boring, because it started off as just an explanation of the spices of Morocco, but then the man started introducing natural cures for everything you can imagine! And of course I was suckered into buying it all! I got the Moroccan green/mint tea, weight loss tea (will need it after study abroad), Moroccan cosmetic oil, acne cream, ginseng oil (cures headaches), cold medicine, and more! And it’s all-natural! There was also a 20 DIR massage, aka 2 euro! Couldn’t miss that either!

We got sandwiches for lunch and then split up into separate activities. The majority of the group went canyoning, but a group of us went Dune Bugging through the desert instead.

It was so much fun driving again…until it started raining. It rained and we got wet, as we started to dry, it rained again. When it stopped raining we hit a muddy area where we got covered in mud! Which would have been a lot of fun if we had more clothes, but they were one of our two pairs of pants! Luckily for the last part of the trip we were given jackets and stayed dry until we got back.

The trip through the desert was amazing. It’s fascinating the lives that people live. The small hut that is surrounded by garbage, and the fact they did not have cars still baffles me. We literally saw multiple men with their donkeys to get into town and real life Sheppard’s herding their sheep. Living in such a civilized society keeps me from realizing how a third world country is living. It was really an experience.

After the tour, Carly and I went and got Moroccan pants since we had nothing else. I got bright yellow and Carly got purple (LSU colors). We also spent a lot of time bargaining for jewelry and other goods! The shopping was just fabulous!

We had dinner at a Moroccan Restaurant. I ate cous cous with vegatables, various meats, and a salad. The food was really good! There were belly dancers who came in and put a show on as well.

On Saturday, we drove an hour out of the city to ride camels. I made a new friend with the baby camel, and as I was standing there the mother turned around and bit me! It was crazy! I knew they spit but not biting! I decided not to ride on that camel but rather on another named Fatima. Carly and I shared because there weren’t enough for everyone. We rode for a good ten minutes and that was plenty long enough. It was not the most comfortable ride.

Following the camel rides we had tea at a Burma house. We were also given homemade bread, butter, honey, and oil. It was amazing. We had the option of getting henna from a ten-year-old girl too.

We went on a hike up the in the mountains and saw a waterfall. It wasn’t a huge waterfall, but we got a good workout and saw beautiful views as well.

That night we had dinner in the main square. Within all the chaos, we sat down for an amazing meal. We got the traditional meal as we had the night before, but it was still just as good because their food is so natural and light.

Overall, Morocco was an amazing experience! I don’t think I will go back, so I went all out and tried to see everything while I was there. The only thing I missed and I want to go back for is a visit to the Sahara Desert.