... and this is why they called him the Master. Amongst the 2.700 pieces of art on display at the Uffizi, the skill of Michelangelo stands head and shoulders about all others. He has hit the other masters who have to be considered 'also rans' over the fence, over the grandstand and into the Arno River for more than a six. His capacity to work with colour is remarkable. It would seem that no-one did blue like Mickey A.
This work entitled Doni Madonna, is thought to have been commissioned around 1507, to celebrate the wedding of man about town Agnoli Doni to Maddalena Strozzi the daughter of a rich Tuscan family. Despite the years the colours remain vivid. It sits in a room with paintings done by those who would copy his skills with colour, each coming second, third and fourth by a country mile.
It sits there in its original frame (yowzers!... is that an art appreciation technical term...?) like a beacon of perfection. The round frame suggest domestic harmony according to our most excellent guide Roberta who told us that this painting was commissioned for the bedroom... which might explain the bevy of strapping males in the buff lounging about in the background.
It would seem that the Uffizi provides some balance in the nudity stakes which in art across most modes is predominantly female. However, here they are not afraid to get out the odd tonk or three in the statue stakes.
Above is the Rape of the Sabine Women with Hercules and the Centaur in the background. The Sabine woman story I shall save for another time... But here is that violent streak coming out again in the foreground and the background... a good clubbing is never far away if one is a centaur it seems.
As one walks about the Uffizi, where art piece after art piece sings to you, the symphony is a powerful one indeed. You are presented with so many works of art, that is is impossible to spend sufficient time on a guided tour to truly appreciate the visual feast before you.
Access to the amassed art of the Medici family has only been possible by the bequest of the last of the Medici line, Catherine, painted here with her French husband Henry (really...seriously...Henry not at least Herve?) As she didn't have children from the marriage, she donated all the art and buildings to the state. Cant imagine some of the rellos were all that happy about such a decision.