Saturday, June 2, 2012

Quintessential Florence, Part 1

In this series of images I record a few of the visuals that most often come to mind when I pine for Florence, and which to me are--in many ways--the "visual essence" of this overtly and consciously visual city.

(Above) The view of Florence today from Piazzale Michelangelo. While taking in this majestic view it's also not not hard to see why Leonardo da Vinci, who looked upon this very same valley day after day, was the first to recognize, study and employ atmospheric perspective. 

 More quintessential Florence...

Getting around (visually)...

 Sweet Italian treats (note the gorgeous marscapone fruit)...

The blooming lily of Florence, symbol of the city on a Renaissance structure. 

The peach, yellow and ivory of Renaissance structures on narrow, winding streets with lush green landscape behind. (Taken on the Oltr'arno)

Being dwarfed by the baptistery, duomo and bell tower as the sun warms my back.


  1. Eh, now I have to read up on Leonardo's perceptions of atmospheric perspective. I've come to conclude that anyone who spends some time painting outdoors 'discovers' for themselves certain qualities and ideas about the color and value shifts that occur in nature that are specific to distance. It is always fun to read up how the long gone observed what is still true today.

  2. Well, you would certainly know! Interestingly we looked at the works of Benozzo Gozzoli today (my first day of class) and his take from the late 1440s at the Medici Palace (Chapel of the Magi) is so radically different than Leonardo. It reminds me of delicate, highly detailed illuminated manuscripts. His work is equally interesting visually, just as effective to the eye and mind, but such a different take on things. He's looking at nature clearly, but abstracting it by choice, I think. I must say, with you in mind I've been giving landscape a much more careful eye this trip, both in nature and in painting!