Backside of the Pitti Palace

Backside of the Pitti Palace

Today (7/25/13), we headed up to the Palazzo Pitti or Pitti Palace. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but this massive structure blew away all my expectations. Once again, you are not allowed to take pictures inside, so I have can’t show you the amazing treasures housed there.

The Pitti Palace actually houses six different museums within its palace and property. They include The Palatine Gallery, which contains over 500 Renaissance paintings; The Royal apartments, fourteen rooms which housed the Medicis and their successors; The Gallery of Modern Art, thirty rooms of works from the 18 and 19 centuries; The Silver Museum, which contains jewelery and other silver pieces; The Costume Gallery which had costumes from the 18 through the 21 centuries; and the Porcelain Museum, which is out in the Bobili Gardens

Passageway in Pitti Palace

Passageway in Pitti Palace

(we didn’t visit there.)

It’s hard to know where to start to explain the vast beauty we saw today. It is actually a bit overwhelming to see that much at one time. I think my favorite was the section of the Palatine Gallery (I believe–they all run together). It housed a number of statues and works in Ivory. My favorite–how I wanted a picture!–was a sculpture of Abraham’s Sacrifice of Isaac. It follows the style Michelangelo modeled in his Victory of sculptures in a spiral. Isaac is the bottom of the spiral. Abraham is above him with his sword aloft. The spiral finishes with an angel who is holding on to Abraham’s upraised sword. The angel is flying downward, so the top of the spiral is the feet of the angel. It is an amazing work of artistry (and I can’t even find a picture on the internet!)

Another favorite of mine was a painting by Antonio Ciseri in the Gallery of Modern Art. It displays Pilate’s presentation of Jesus to the crowd. (You can view it online here: http://www.museumsinflorence.com/foto/galleria%20arte%20moderna/image/18.jpg ) The perspective of the painting is from behind Pilate who is leaning over the railing talking to the crowd while gesturing back at Jesus. What I find fascinating is the way the artist portrays the looks on each person’s face. Each has a different reaction from bored indifference to sadness and disapproval. It really places the viewer in the moment with a different perspective than we normally get.

Additionally, both mom and I marvelled in the silver museum at the size of the pearls in the jewelry. This is before synthetic pearls, so these were the real deal.

Bobili Gardens

Bobili Gardens

Leaving the last museum, we toured a bit of Bobili Gardens, but decided not to walk up to the Porcelain Museum. We stopped by Santo Spirito to double check their hours from Rick Steve’s Guidebook. According to the guidebook, they were supposed to be open today, but their next opening is Saturday, and we will be gone. I had wanted to tour this church because it contains a crucifix Michelangelo carved as a seventeen year old as a thank you present for the priest for letting him dissect. (The priest had allowed him to dissect dead bodies before burial. Apparently, he also did his dissection in the monastery there.) Alas, no such luck.

Well, tomorrow is our last day in Florence, and our last half of a day on the Firenze card. We have seen 11 of the 84 attractions offered to us on this card. Who knows what we’ll find to tour tomorrow!

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