Sunday, July 13, 2008

Astonishing Artwork

THE DREAM has re-united me with my daughter Sarah in Italy. I had not planned to return here so soon, but the currents of life and affection have brought me to Florence, and now, the Amalfi coast as I drive her and her friend to Brindisi where they will catch a ferry to Greece.

Florence is simply saturated with astonishing artwork of the past. Two major museums are the Uffizi and Accademia. I am now quite familiar with them both, and always thrill at seeing special masterpieces, such as Michelangelo’s spectacular sculpture David in the Accademia, and paintings by Bottecelli, Da Vinci, Caravaggio and others at the Uffizi. Another artist, Artemesia Gentilleschi has a tremendous painting of Judith, severing the head of Holofernes while he is in bed sleeping. The sword is just passing into the flesh and blood is squirting all over the place. She has his hair clasped in one hand and the sword firmly in the other. He has a look of horror and she is determined. In the same room always are Caravaggio paintings. One is of a snarling Medusa with writhing snakes coming out her head, and another is a relaxed partially nude Bacchus, holding up a cup of wine. Imagine all these paintings together and you have a real Italian experience.

The Amalfi coast is simply stupendous. The drama of mountains and ancient villages spilling abruptly down to the sea is scenery at its best. We have spent a night in hotel called Le Terrazze that is high up on a mountainside, overlooking the Mediterranean.

After dropping the girls off in Brindisi this evening, I will go to Bari and stay with friends for several days. Eventually, a new tooth awaits me in Florence.

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