Renaissance overload

It’s very easy in Italy to rapidly hit an ‘overload’ level when it comes to art, architecture, museums, galleries and ruins. There’s just so much of it to see across the country, and then within an individual venue there can be so much to look at you’re not quite sure where to start.
The Palazzo Vecchio in Florence is a classic example of that. It was completed in 1322 as the town hall for Florence, but was remodelled in 1540 for Duke Cosimo 1 with the redecoration being undertaken by the painter, writer, historian, and architect Vasari (obviously a man of many talents).

This tiny study (above) was decorated by Florence’s leading Mannerist painters in 1569-1573.

Take any one of these paintings on its own and it would be breathtakingly amazing…but throw hundreds of them together into the one building and after the first few minutes of oohing and ahhing, you start to lose steam and wander around, viewing them all in a stunned silence.

There’s paintings and ornate decoration on the ceilings…

the walls…

more ceilings…

…and cornices.

And not on a small scale either. The budget for this place must have been massive.

The room below is the Sala dei Gigli (Lily Chamber) – named for the gold fleur-de-lys on the walls.   I think it was my favourite room, simply for its classical restraint…

…until you look up, that is.
Later today…nudity
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