Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Oh, Jaysus!

Today, alone again at school (siiiigh), Professor Google and I went to the Giovanni Bellini exhibit at the Scuderie Museum. It's been a museum weekend/week, it would seem! 

Bellini was a Venetian painter during the Renaissance, best known for his incredibly precise brushwork and deep, vibrant colors. I thought the set-up of the exhibit was great - the museum itself used to be the carriage house to the Quirinale Palace, where the president of Italy currently lives, and where the several Popes lived until the end of the 19th century. The white marble and stone walls were covered with false wooden walls painted a dark, dark red, and even the ceiling was closed in with the same color. Only the corners of each room were visible. The paintings were all mounted on the wood and then lighted from individuals lights above each one, which made Bellini's colors stand out incredibly well. 

Of course I appreciated the paintings, but after a while, was bored with looking at dead Jesus figures flanked by Saint Giovanni and the Virgin, or Madonna con il Bambino (Madonna with the child). There were at least 25 of those in the exhibit, which Tom later explained to me was because many museums are hesitent to lend any truly precious Bellini works, so they all lent their Madonna con il Bambino, of which there must be hundreds total. Here are three examples that I saw:

I thought that what was most interesting about these paintings with the same titles was that they are not, in fact, of the same things. If you look at the faces, these are three different Madonnas with three different bambini. Professor Google said that often, these paintings were commissioned to celebrate the birth of a nobleman's child, so maybe the women and children reflect the mothers and children being celebrated. Or maybe Christianity has some explaining to do...

Weather has been crappy here, so I've been hunkering down with my books after my museum visits.

Here are some (belated) pictures from Barcelona! Cooper was worried that none of the pictures I took on my little desposable-camera-that-couldn't would come out, so he made sure to stay close behind and back me up. Good thing someone was looking out for me and my blog!

First up, more amazing candy at the Boqueria Market!

Here we are, waiting for our lunch! Then we picnicked in the sun and some man threatened to call the police because we were sitting near his building. What rebels we were...

Being the church-ceiling lover that I am, I had to get a picture of the ceiling at the Palau de la Musica. 

But gee-willickers, we all know how that turned out. So here's the picture of the ceiling that Cooper took:

Here's proof that I actually went out dancing:

And here's the beach! On dirait l'été...

Oh, for cryin' in a bucket...

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