I received a fair amount of questioning after my last blog when I said I didn’t like art. I should have said I don’t like slogging through art galleries and museums. Because I don’t have training in art, I prefer to take pleasure in observing everyday beauty around me.
But this week, I saw paintings in Florence at the Uffizi Gallery that changed my view. (And I was astounded that the Uffizi allowed photographs as long as there was no flash.)
It wasn’t slogging, because we had a guide through “Walks of Italy.” He provided meaning, connecting what we saw in one room, with one period, to the next room with the following period. I got it. Cimabue, Giotto, Leonardo di Vinci, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Raphael – the appetizer for a feast, if I follow-up with some study of Art History.
But I ponder the question of what makes art. What about the marzipan we saw in the window of the candy shop near the Uffizi? It is beautiful. It looked hand-crafted. Is that art?
Are my photographs art? (I would say no to that one.)
Allow me to go even further – the graffiti i see in Italy. Since I don’t understand Italian, I look only at the flow of the penmanship, the juxtaposition of colors and weight of the lines. Devoid of any meaning, I can appreciate the form.
I saw the best graffiti in Venice, perhaps because I spent the most time there, away from the major attractions. We did what the guidebooks told us – meander because you can’t get lost on these small islands. So we wandered in small neighborhoods with few tourists. These places did not worry about cleaning up the graffiti.
But is it art? If you believe that art is in the eye of the beholder, you get to decide.
P.S. If you understand Italian and any of this offends you, Mi scusi!
Planning your own trip to Italy? Get my Italy travel tips and my recommendations by clicking here, and send me an email with Italy Travel Tips in the subject line. I’ll even send a sample itinerary. Ciao!
Other essays on the Trip to Italy:
Rules for buying veggies in Venice
Clinging to the best of the past – the Cinque Terre
Falling Asleep with Galileo – Pisa
The passionate Italian lives in Siena
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Thank you Scott
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Couldn’t agree more with your sentiments about art, Diane, in that there’s art in way more than just paintings. In fact, some of the graffiti you showed was really creative.
Thank you Rox-Anne. I thought the graffiti was beautiful. Though I surprised myself and found that I was being drawn to sculpture. Maybe that is the formal type of art that I can get into.