The best part about studying in Florence is that I am surrounded by the architecture, artwork, and places that we discuss in class. I love going on field trips!
In my Art History class, we talked about the Competition in 1401 for the Baptistery doors. The two finalists of the competition were Filippo Brunelleshci and Lorenzo Ghiberti. Ghiberti won because he followed all of the “rules” of the competition and demonstrated his knowledge and understanding of classical art. This was the beginning of the Renaissance (1401), or “re-birth” of classicism. Ghiberti completed the Golden Door of the Baptistery in 1430 and during this time he discovered perspective, or how people would be looking at the gold reliefs on the door. This was the most important door of the Baptistery because after people were baptized, they would exit this door and go straight into the Cathedral. The one we see today is not the original; the real door was severely damaged when the Arno river flooded in 1966.
This is very interesting to me because I pass the Duomo and the Baptistery everyday on my way to LdM for school. Now I can explain what I am looking at!
Last week for my Art History course we went inside Santa Croce Church.
This is right by my apartment, but I have never been inside it! It was beautiful; and we saw what we had just talked about from the lecture — Donatello’s Annunciation. This sculpture depicts Mary at the moment the angel tells her she is pregnant; it is made out of gray stone with gold.
This week, I went to the Etruscan town of Fiesole, above Florence for my History of Florentina class.
It was short bus ride up to Fiesole that had great views of the city of Florence. Etruscans were the one of the first civilizations in Italy; and settled in Fiesole. The archeological elements that remain are the theater, baths, temple and forum. Before we left, I had to dance in the theater!
This week I also got to go inside Santa Maria Novella Church, by the train station, with Art History. Inside this church hangs Giotto’s wooden painted “Jesus Patient” Crucifixion from 1302. From the lecture, we talked about Masaccio’s Holy Trinity fresco that is on the wall inside. Over the centuries the colors became damaged; but it depicts God supporting Jesus at the time of Crucifixion and a white dove that represents the Holy Spirit.
This was also interesting to go inside since I pass S. Maria Novella Church on my way to the train station before traveling out of Florence.
I love seeing what I am studying in real life; so much better and more effective than looking at a textbook or PowerPoint!
–Gina Rose Sirico