Monday, April 12, 2010

Fresco Santa Trinita Church

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

This is the last of this series of images from the Church of Santa Trinita in Florence, Italy. I wanted to show you something that is sad and unfortunately quite common in the frescoes in Florentine churches. In this first image, I give you a snapshot giving you an overall view of the church. But look at the upper left part of the image: In a church in which there is quite a lot of symmetry and order, you can see that this part does not. It is because of damage over the years.

In this second image, you can see not only how much of the original fresco is missing, but you can also see how lovely the colors are. I cannot help wondering how beautiful this original artwork would have looked when it was new.

In these last two images, you can see the warmer fresco colors. I also really enjoy the border patterns and how they placed several complete compositions into one giant composition that worked with the architecture. And not unlike when I destroy my street paintings, I often find beauty in the ruins of . . . well, many things.

I am not sure, but I believe that the cracks and missing parts of frescoes give away their secrets on how they were made, or at least, how the work was separated into batches of plaster. I find it interesting that in the third image, one can see that the shapes of the missing art are more organic in nature. This composition, while having a number of straight vertical elements in its composition is quite different from the one across the space from it (image 4). You can see the lost space wrapping around the one figure in red’s robe.

Whereas the last image depicts a rather rectangular composition and the missing painting in the lower right is also a rectangular shape. One suspects that this artist worked in a very methodical manner perhaps based more on his brain’s way of thinking than even on the way the image was originally drawn. I wonder if he was part engineer?

Italy has such a wealth of important art and finds itself the custodian of so much of human culture and history. It must be a great expense for a generally not super-wealthy nation and it is no wonder that so many of Italy’s artworks appear to be waiting for restoration attention. I, for one, am generally happy that more artworks have not been restored after seeing how Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel was ruined by the “restoration experts.” But this is another topic . . .

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