Today was a day of art. We were in Florence (Firenze in Italian). It was the birthplace of the renaissance in the 1400s. The word renaissance itself means “rebirth”. It was fueled by the money of the Medici family in Florence. It was the time of Michelangelo, Leonardo DaVinci and Raphael to name a few. It was when Europe started coming out of the dark ages and back into the age of enlightenment that was ancient Rome & Greece. Art became more realistic and three dimensional. In were the Greek & Roman gods & goddesses and out were the themes of Christianity. We as humans sought to become more of individuals in control of our own destiny instead of just letting it occur around us while we thought of more important things, like what the church promised awaited us in heaven.
To get an appreciation for this renaissance, we visited the Uffizi Gallery. It is loaded with most of the great artists. Botticelli’s famous Birth of Venus painting, that I LOVE, is here along with several of his others. I found myself just sitting down and staring at her beautiful face. There were also unfinished paintings by Leonardo DaVinci, and even more impressive, in a special exhibit, were some of the actual pages from his notebooks documenting his studies of flight, architecture, and even more fascinating for me, his studies of human anatomy. His detailed drawings look pretty similar to my anatomy textbooks in college. It made me a feel a closer connection to him. I think I was in the DaVinci exhibit almost an hour before I even entered any of the official Uffizi galleries. They were actually my favorite part of the museum.