Thursday, 28 February 2008

13 Great Works of Art (Plus One!)


I've been to museums in the US, of course, but nothing prepares you for the constant presence of ART in Italy. In addition to spending entire days in the Uffizi and the Galeria dell'Accademia in Firenze, a simple walk reveals wonders, in most any town. Almost every piazza or random street has some small artistic jewel hidden away in it, if you just look. (Not to mention the art of some of the architecture in the historic centers.) Here's an example, taken from a random street in my city:

I could do a Thursday Thirteen about art in Reggio Emilia, I think (and I just may, sometime).

This is a list of works of art I've had the great fortune to admire up-close-and-personal, as it were. (The photos of the statues are mostly mine, by the way.)

A particular favorite artist of mine is Caravaggio. These should show you why...

The Sacrifice of Isaac, Uffizi Gallery, Firenze, Italy.

The Head of Medusa (painted on a shield), Uffizi Gallery, Firenze, Italy.

Then, just outside the Uffizi in Firenze, you find these pieces - on display in the Piazza della Signoria.

Giambologna's Hercules beating the Centaur Nessus (1599)

Menelaus supporting the body of Patroclus

The Fountain of Neptune, designed by Bartolomeo Amminnati.

The next two are Perseus with the head of Medusa, by Benvenuto Cellini.

The Rape of Polyxena, by Pio Fedi (1865) - It is worth noting that "Rape" in this context refers
to the original meaning of the word, "Rapine -To Kidnap".

The same goes for the following artwork, The Rape of the Sabine Women.

I must confess that I don't know what this next piece is's found in Parma, Italy, near the city hall.

The Venus of Urbino, by Tiziano Vecellio (aka Titian), found in the Uffizi, Firenze.

Bottecelli's Primavera

Botticelli's The Birth of Venus

And, standing in for the eye candy this week is the Grandaddy of 'em all, who of course needs no introduction...

Oh, who am I kidding? Here's the eye candy...

Luca Argentero - actor

What can I say? He's vaguely reminiscent of the David, isn't he?

Happy Thursday Thirteen!


mere said...

I'd say that last picture is an incredibly hot I meanapt comparison!

Picturing of Life said...

What an great art lists.

Will you visit mine :D Thanks

Gina Ardito said...

All beautiful works of art--especially that last one. I'm gonna bookmark this for inspiration. Thanks for a moving tribute! :-)

Hootin' Anni said...

I love this. Altho I'm wondering. the sculptor for the last one really DOES know his stuff, doesn't HE. LOL

If you haven't stopped by my T-13 yet, I have made thirteen new headers for everyone who wants them...just click on 'em and save 'em for yourself if you'd like!! Happy Thursday.

Tempest Knight said...

I simply adore the statues. Wonderful pieces of art and human beauty! I especially liked the last one. My thanks for his parents in such wonderful job. ;)

Rhonda Stapleton said...

BEAUTIFUL! These are stunning works of art (and the last one made me giggle--ROFL!)

R.G. ALEXANDER said...

I LOVE the Venus of Urbino! Very nice TT :)

Debbie Mumford said...

Wonderful post!! Absolutely stunning...and I totally agree with mere's comment about that last picture *giggle*

Jennifer McKenzie said...

I've seen pictures of many of those, but how cool that you've seen them in person.
And I think David has a better build. LOL.

Kaige said...

Thanks for sharing! Some gorgeous works of art there. 'Fraid I have to agree with Jen -- even without the tan line, David's physique is nicer. :)

Happy TT!

Alice Audrey said...

It was all eye candy this week - great works or not.

Paige Tyler said...

Beautiful! All of them! LOL! And it so brings back memories of art history class!


My TT is at

Shelley Munro said...

Amazing art, and like the others, I thought the last one pretty good, too ;)

Heather said...

Beautiful works of art - I've long been partial to Bottecelli.

Gwen Mitchell said...

Ah! I'm so glad you did this to go with last weeks! Birth of Venus is one of my all-time favorites. Lovely. Grazie!


Nicholas said...

Wonderful statues. It's amazing that anyone could carve anything as lifelike as those out of stone. And it's nice to see that in Italy there are no prudes who want to cover up the naughty bits!

Ms Menozzi said...

In response to Nicholas - once upon a time, there was a group that went around putting drapes and "pants" on those very same statues.

Savonarola, in 1494, called for the covering of "immodest" paintings and statues, and even the burning of books, cosmetics, mirrors, "lewd images" and much more. The paintings destroyed are said to have included works by Botticelli and Michelangelo Buonarroti. This was called "The Bonfire of the Vanities".

The burnings were held in the center of Piazza della Signoria, where these statues in my post are found, today.

Savonarola himself was executed in the exact same spot in 1498, along with Fra Silvestro and Fra Domenico da Pescia.

AJ Chase said...

The first picture of the building is amazing. Man. That's really gorgeous. Art is something I never really understand, not with the subtlety that my profs wanted me to. The only class I ever got a B in was art history. I was furious because it brought down my average, LOL.