Monday, February 23, 2009

back from italy

ok, so i left the US for the first time in my life to go to italy for a renaissance painting class. we visited venice, padoa, florence, sienna, and rome -- two friends and i also took a day trip to dan gimignano.

i guess i have a lot to say about the experience-- considering the incredible amount of work that we saw on a daily basis-- but perhaps i would go on for too long. i'll just let a few sketches and photographs say it for me.

i didn't do as much drawing as a would have liked-- we simply walked through everything too quickly. these, however, are from times when i was able to sit and focus.

i shot the first two in florence (the duomo and the museum of natural history) while the last one is from the vatican in rome.

a few things that i learned while in italy:

1. when looking at a remarkable piece, ask HOW MANY people worked on it
2. do not take the ease of oil painting for granted when considering the egg tempera technique
3. contemporary people (in general) have no patience
4. comfortable, water-proof shoes are a luxury
5. when looking at remarkable architecture, ask how many years it took to construct
6. a 100% starch diet is a fast way to gain weight
7. a lot of people in countries that don't speak english would rather not speak english
8. breakfast is extremely important
9. naps are extremely important
10. i love america

uh...i also learned a lot about art. i'm sure of it.

i must say, though, that despite having gone on the trip for a painting course, i reacted much more strongly to the sculptures. seeing michelangelo's "David" in real life was an entirely ineffable experience. Bernini, on the other hand, proved to be the absolute climax of figurative sculpture. his works at the borghese gallery were heartbreaking.

though i've seen, breathed, and tasted so many wonderful landscapes, paintings, sculptures, and foods the only thing i wanted after a long trip away from home was a freaking cheese burger. oh how i love america...and her smiling, over-fed, english-speaking children.