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View Diary: Books Go Boom!   Painting the Sistine Chapel (60 comments)

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  •  Timing is everything (10+ / 0-)

    I got to see The Mona Lisa and The David and Night Watch with hardly a soul nearby.  Traveling way, way off season helps, and time of day is important too.  Hardly anyone arrives exactly when a museum opens, and if you are there when the doors open, you have a great shot at seeing great works without tons of people.

    By the way, in a brochure when I saw the David, there was an explanation  for the large head, gangly arms and large hands that, after all, David as an adolescent, right? and of course we all know how those growth spurts occur during those teenage years.  Anyone else read this theory anywhere?

    By the way, Susan, I loved The Agony and the Ecstasy.  I had nothing to compare it to, but I wasn't looking for an accurate, clean biogrpahy.  I thought it was great popular, historical fiction at its best.

    Looking forward to the next installment.  Luddite here, so not yet posting anything visual, as you suggested, although I might have chosen The Pieta.

    Just waitin' around for the new Amy Winehouse album

    by jarbyus on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 05:56:11 PM PST

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    •  Someone took a hammer to the Pieta (8+ / 0-)

      before we got to Rome so we only saw a replica.  I was sad.  We did get to see Moses.  It took a long time to find the right little church.  Now days, you could google it and get a map. :)

      A picture is here:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/...

      It was made for Julius' tomb.

      Wiki tells about it here:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/...

      Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

      by cfk on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 06:18:10 PM PST

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      •  If he'd never been sidetracked by the Chapel (7+ / 0-)

        (though I'm glad he was), it's just conceivable that M. would have finished Julius' tomb, and we'd have that to fill us with an equal awe. Julius died not too long after the Chapel was finished, and M. never again found the solid and unstinting patronage his plans for the tomb required.

        In his lifetime, M. discarded far more sculptures than he finished. It's easy to hit a flaw in marble, to mis-chip at it (especially when you're such a perfectionist), so that it falls short of your vision. On the other hand, once he was on a roll with inspiration, M. frequently applied all his powers and energy, and achieved the impossible.

        "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

        by Brecht on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 06:36:18 PM PST

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    •  Traveling way, way off season (if you can do it, (8+ / 0-)

      and the weather's not a deal-breaker for you) helps in so many ways: getting tickets, avoiding crowds and lines, off-season prices. But that arriving when a museum opens is very shrewd - maybe even worth getting out of bed early for.

      The Pieta is another masterwork - but we have the two pictures the diary needed most. Welcome, fellow Luddite.

      Rembrandt, in his own way, also blows my mind. To have the patience to keep looking, and see further into the human face than other mortals. A bit like Monet, looking so far into the haystack that he found colors we never imagined there.

      Einstein once explained his own penetrating insights by saying, most people, when looking for a needle in a haystack, would stop when they found the first needle; he would look for the other needles.

      Glad you're liking my work, jarbyus.

      "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

      by Brecht on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 06:22:33 PM PST

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      •  The first time I went to Italy (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Brecht, RiveroftheWest, SneakySnu

        was in November of 2001, immediately after 9/11 and we got into the Uffizi in Florence without any wait at all and the Sistine Chapel was nearly empty, so I was able to spend hours there in quiet contemplation.  I don't recommend  national tragedy, but I would encourage people to travel to Italy in October/November, the weather is better (not so hot) and there seem to be fewer tourists.

        Sunlight is the best disinfectant

        by historys mysteries on Sat Mar 02, 2013 at 08:01:57 AM PST

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        •  plus, hotels are cheaper off-season. (2+ / 0-)

          I know it's hypocritical, to visit a place and wish for less tourists - but you do get more of the flavor of a place. Any popular tourist destination is kind of performing in the summertime, dancing for your dollars. In the fall, Florence is a bit more Italian.

          "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

          by Brecht on Sat Mar 02, 2013 at 09:55:02 AM PST

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