Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Basilica Of St. Francis, 2017

We visited Assisi in 2011, primarily to see the art of the great church, Cimabuie, Lorenzetti, Martini, others, but mostly Giotto's enormous cycle of early 14th century frescoes depicting the life of St. Francis. As in 2011, there is still a "NO FOTOS!" policy, but in 2017, I think I got some better shots, at least in the lower church. The 2011 post is at https://roadeveron.blogspot.com/2011/05/st-francis-duomo.html.
We stayed at a nice AgroTourism sosta, 900m from the church


The 900m was up a brick Peace path...St. F was
big on peace

Hundreds of names of peace makers

OK, it's not a national museum; rather, a friary and papal

Outdoor resto; please keep your feet out of the street

Another vertical sort of place, Assisi

"Thou shalt not spill motor oil upon consecrated ground"

Me giving the secret sign

Apse in the lower (non-papal) church; mostly Giotto here,
though lots of Lorenzetti, Cimabuie elsewhere

J. Iscariot

Betrayal (I was playing hide and seek with a guard, snapping
pix from behind pillars, waiting for him to yell at others...one
of whom was a nun who seemed quite flustered at being yelled
at by a civilian

St. F. saving people

In a lower side chapel...still processing this one

Umbrian countryside, from the enormous mostly religious and
not touristy gift shoppe

Now in the upper, papal church, where there are fewer pillars,
etc., to sneak around and hide behind

For pix of the Team Giotto frescoes, see the 2011 post; this
time, we were less impressed...they're so big and so far away;
we prefer the Arena Chapel, definitely, more intimate,
although it's just Giotto and not the whole cavalcade of
late Medieval Italian art

Back in the lower church for a shot of
Cimabuie's portrait of Francis, the oldest and
closest to contemporaneous

Crypt and F's burial

Upper town of Assisi

Monday, November 20, 2017

Casa Vasari, Arezzo

In 2011, I knew who Vasari was but was insufficiently appreciative of his importance in art. Consequently, we snapped a photo of his house and carried on. He was, as I now know, the first art historian, and it is to him that we owe much of our knowledge of Renaissance art and the contexts within which to understand it. He originated terms like "Renaissance" and "Gothic." Stuff like that.  He was also an artist, a painter, an architect, and all-around Renaissance-type guy--not of the first order perhaps--but, hey, a 4 NT hand is not bad. This time we made the trip to Arezzo to see his house as much as the Piero di Francesca frescoes. Unlike many artists' houses, Vasari's was kept pretty much as it was in his time. The furniture is gone, but the art, as the artist himself cataloged it, remains.

Where he parked his Alfa Romeo (too small
for the Ferrari)

In the neighborhood

Vasari himself was a Mannerist; knew Mr. Twisty personally

In the room of the muses, Calliope

Unusual vertical Last Supper, by Vasari himself

Multi-color winged angel on unicycle

Ambito Aretino's portrait of Vasari

Allegory of Virtue, Fortune, and Envy

Nice trompe l'oeil


The garden

Arezzo, 2017

We decamped November 5th and drove to Arezzo, a town and art history center we last visited in 2011. Except for the new things we saw--Vasari's house, the Santa Maria della Pieve church--I can hardly improve on the pix I (sometimes clandestinely) took in 2011. They are at http://roadeveron.blogspot.com/2011/05/arezzo-art.html and at http://roadeveron.blogspot.com/2011/05/arezzo.html, and warrant close attention. (There will be a quiz later). Just as it seemed in 2011, Arezzo is a bit off the larger tourist route; pretty much Italian tourists and those there for the weekly antiques market. It is nonetheless a beautiful Medieval/Renaissance old town, with much art and art history.
A rainy Sunday morning rain somewhat slowed the antiques market

Vicki buying Girl Scout cookies; we headed first to Vasari's
house (next post) before going to the Chiesa di San Francesco
and Piero della Francesca's Legend of the True Cross

Looking into Francesca's masterpiece; I think my pix from
2011 are good enough, despite the "NO FOTOS!" policy; on
this day one could just linger and take pix at leisure; besides,
the Legend of the True Cross doesn't lend itself to a blow-by-
blow account; or any coherent or credible rendering at all; but
it's beautiful

There were so many flags available that day...why couldn't
he have chosen the white goose ("in hoc signes...")?

Teething Jesus; the14th century church  is
covered in old frescoes, many still recognizable

Another view of the Francesca frescoes, with an
ancient Franciscan crucifix

Less well known bit of the Legend story

Covered offering plates

City Hall

Inside the cathedral, with the Divine Illumination Machine
(DIM) on (see 2011 post)

Petrarch's house (now the public library, as I recall)

Live or Memorex?

Renaissance style; gotta have a mural to adorn your covered

The 12th century Chiesa Santa Maria della Pieve; Vasari called
it the church with 100 holes

In its crypt

Adoration bas-relief in nave

Another bas-relief

Later, at the Medieval Museum, Gerini's
Man of Sorrows (note the guy sticking his
tongue out at J)

And, lastly, a huge Vasari Banquet, maybe 30 feet wide, but,
alas, no title I could find