Here’s the other half of our pictures of our first day in Florence. Here’s a technical note, that will most likely be too much information. I have two cameras a Nikon D4 and a Nikon D800E, and Jeannine and I traded off on carrying them each day. We typically had the wide angle lens on the D800 and the telephoto lens on the D4. It’s the sweeping shots that the wide angle can get that we typically want to print, so it makes sense to put that on the camera that sucks in the most pixels.
I had the D4 with the telephoto lense on our first day, and although I don’t give much thought to how the shots from each lens feel significantly different, I noticed it when I was doing this edit. They are just less atmospheric and more pointed.
Now then. Let’s talk about looking at paintings by Botticelli, Rafael, Da Vinci, Rembrant and Caravaggio all in one spot. The Uffizi is overwhelming. It’s jam-packed with art work, and where there aren’t paintings there’s statues and the elaborately painted ceilings. I thought I would be really engaged at the beginning, but then feel exhausted and unable to really be present at the end.
We saw Da Vinci, Botticelli, and Rafael first. And although I felt grateful to see that work, I wasn’t blown away by it. I felt a little bummed that they didn’t have a greater impact. Once we went downstairs we saw the Caravaggio’s and Gentileschi’s Judith Beheads Holofernes and Reni’s David With The Head Of Goliath nearly back to back. And I just felt entranced by them. I think part of it was that they started to look less like paintings of people and more like people. And then there’s all the bewitching darkness in them. The subjects float out as though out of the abyss. I adored them.
Who needs segues, lets talk about Galileo’s fingers. They’ve keep his mummified digits and have them on display at his museum. There’s a thumb, an index finger, and the middle finger with the phlange that extends into the palm of his hand. As if this weren’t gruesome enough, but the bones still had bits of gnarled sinew attached to them.
That seems like an appropriate place to leave you on our first day. Sweet dreams… About frayed finger tendons and beheadings…