Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Salone dei Cinquecento

Salone dei Cinquecento, Hall of the 500, Palazzo Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria, Florence
Salone dei Cinquecento (Hall of the 500)
Palazzo Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria
Florence, October 2013

“Michelangelo completed the life-sized preparatory sketches called ‘cartoons’ (because they were done on large paper, which in Italian is cartone) before being called to Rome by Pope Julius II (to ‘decorate’ the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel). His sketches were left in Florence, where they were studied and copied by many aspiring artists, most of whom decided to take home a piece here and there. Soon, nothing was left of these never-realized Michelangelo frescoes. All we know about them comes from a few copies made by artists I shall charitably call ‘less talented’ than Michelangelo.
Da Vinci, on the other hand, got a good head start on his side of the room, but his frescoes were done in by the man's own eagerness to experiment. He mixed wax in with his pigments, but the resulting frescoes were not drying fast enough. So, to speed up the drying, he had wood-fired braziers set up all along the base of the wall—then watched, in horror, as the heat melted the wax in the partly-finished frescoes and the images simply slid down off the wall to puddle on the floor.”

2 comments:

cieldequimper said...

Perfect for me as a tourist. One more place on the list.

Changes in the wind said...

Beautiful and so interesting...