Thursday, June 16, 2016

Florence Accademia Lorenzo Bartolini

Dear Art Lover,
     Having lived for many years in Firenze, Italia (translated to Florence, Italy), I have passed many a time and admired the Demidoff Monument by sculptor Lorenzo Bartolini.  My favorite of the marble allegorical sculptures is a mother holding her sick or perhaps dead child across her lap, in a not unlike the famous Pietà pose by Michelangelo.

     My brother Steve was recently visiting me here in Italia for the first time and we traveled around quite a lot to give him a brief taste of this country.  Naturally, while in Firenze, we went to the Medici Chapel (my favorite place) and the Accademia

     Besides housing Michelangelo’s famous “David,” the Accademia also houses his marvelous unfinished slaves, many more paintings and then..the gesso museum… a true delight.  This is where many of the plaster sculptures used to create a copy or copies into marble (with a point-up system) are stored.  Many will still contain the little black dots on the surface of the plaster.  These mark the high points in an area of each sculpture and help in the roughing out of the stone, so as not to remove too much material from any given area. 

Lorenzo Bartolini Plaster Sculpture Museum Accademia Florence, Italy
“Love, Vice, and Wisdom” by Bartolini
      Lorenzo Bartolini (Prato 1777 - Firenze 1850) is one of the artist with many sculptures here to admire.  One of my favorites is a composition of three children.  It is unusual in that it is mostly horizontal.  Sculptors often create vertical compositions that read well from a distance.  “L’Amore, Il Vizio e la Saggezza” (“Love, Vice, and Wisdom”) is dated as “before 1845,” five years at least before the artist died. The three children are arranged in overlapping reclining poses, a bit triangular on a round base.  It reminds me of Giambologna’s “Il Ratto delle Sabine” {“The Abduction of the Sabine Women”) in which the sculptor was seeking a perfect composition that enticed the viewer to walk around to see all sides.  [Note that the title of Giambologna’s composition was given by someone else AFTER the work was done, based on a popular theme in art at the time.]

     Shown here is the plaster model from which was carved the marble sculpture for the Metropolitan Museum.  I apologize that my images are not so clear nor show all the views.  My main camera died in my second fall where I reinjured my knee back in March.  Then this smaller camera I bought from a friend years ago and only used for backups died during my brother’s vacation.  My neighbors were probably relieved that I was not sporting a camera during our recent dinners together.  Another one has been ordered in anticipation of my first trip to Sicily soon.  Enjoy… and see the Accademia when in Firenze.  There is also a small set of rooms for the study of music.  They have many unique and/or antique musical instruments there, as well as a handful of research computers.

For more information on sculptor Lorenzo Bartolini, click here:


P.S.  Welcome Home, little Levi! 

Lorenzo Bartolini Plaster Sculpture Museum Accademia Florence, Italy
“Love, Vice, and Wisdom” by Bartolini

Accademia Plaster Sculpture Museum Florence, Italy
Gesso Museo - Plaster Sculpture Museum-Accademia