Palazzo Vecchio Museum - Florence, Italy
by Kelly Borsheim copyright 1 March 2012 (originally published date)
- Event - Sculpture Challenge in Texas
- Ascension Invitation - Limestone Carving
- Palazzo Vecchio Museum - Florence, Italy
- Blog Highlights
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Dear Art Lover,
This Saturday is the annual Sculpture Challenge, hosted by Philip and Michelle Hoggatt at their beautiful location for Carved Stone. Located in Dripping Springs, Texas, it is a quick drive southwest into the beautiful Texas Hill Country. The event features stone carvings in a variety of styles and stone.
I have three stone carvings in this event, two of which you have probably not seen completed before, except perhaps in images online. I have written to you about the marble Gymast and you may preview her online at:
My newest carving is in a new stone for me: a pink limestone from Texas. This work was mostly carved during The Vineyard at Florence's sculpture competition in the spring and fall on 2011. I finished her in November and delivered her with the others to Philip and Michelle's sculpture garden before I left Texas.
Ascension Invitation (aka Stairway to Heaven) is a combination of a variety of ideas that I have been working on in my studio, but is the only one that has been fully realized. I had been designing a series of figures set inside of a vertically oriented rectangle topped with a circle. The other shapes, such as the angel's wings, fell into place as I thought of turning a wall design into a three-dimensional garden sculpture.
I like the word 'ascension' for its upward connotation, the meaning in astronomy as "the rising of a star above the horizon," and well as one dictionary definition of "to go toward the source or beginning; go back in time." And 'invitation' seemed like a fitting word because of the stairs in the composition, with the angel pointing the way.
I hope you enjoy. I left the stone unsealed because limestone is perfect out of doors. And when it rains on this stone, she turns a deep color of pink. I hate to lose this variety of color by sealing a stone that so wants to breathe!
Sculpture Challenge at Carved Stone, Inc.
WHEN: Saturday, March 3, 2012, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
WHERE: 5300 Bell Springs Road, Dripping Springs, TX 78620.
http://sculpturechallenge.com/ (for map and more information)
Sculpture Challenge is a benefit for PAWS Animal and Humane Shelter. Admission requires a $10 per person donation to PAWS. All ticket proceeds benefit PAWS. Also, if you purchase one of the sculptures entered into the Sculpture Challenge, 20% will go to PAWS.
[Original Stone Carving Ascension Invitation, later renamed Stairway to Heaven, sold]
My apologies for the late notice on this event: I have had some charming visitors over the last several weeks. While I would not trade the time I spent with them, I am having a difficult time catching up on my work.
A Visit to the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Italy:
The Palazzo Vecchio (Old Palace) is the town hall of Florence, Italy, and former home of the ruling parties, such as the Medici family during the Renaissance. The castle-like building with its distinctive clock tower will not be missed when you visit Firenze (her proper name).
A friend and I recently visited the museum inside of the Palazzo Vecchio on 18 February 2012. Then I went again on 22 February with a surprise invitation by the painter John Angel so that I could photograph an event with the mayor of Florence, Matteo Renzi. It was the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the death of Florentine Amerigo Vespucci.
Kelly Borsheim poses with (then) Florence, Italy mayor Matteo Renzi
at the Palazzo Vecchio 22 February 2012
The occasion was the 500th anniversary of the death of Amerigo Vespucci, a Florentine.
I wanted to share something of the experience with you. Sometimes is it difficult for me to comprehend how important art has been to the Italians. I just do not get this sense of importance for art in America.
The images above were taken in the first room one enters after going up a tall flight of stairs. You will see covered scaffolding on the right, as the search for a long-lost Leonardo da Vinci fresco is taking place. Links of interest [no longer online as of reprinting this newsletter October 2020]:
National Geographic writes about search for Leonardo’s art in Palazzo Vecchio: cool photos.
Discovery News: Searching for Leonardo’s Lost Art: “At least $265,000 is needed to build a portable particle accelerator and a germanium crystal detector.” [sounds pretty cool, like science fiction, si?]
All of the rest of these images were taken from my visits to the interior of Palazzo Vecchio. I hope you enjoy and can appreciate the skills, vision, and imaginations of all of the artists involved. Most of these works date from late 1400s on ...
"Palazzo Vecchio" 18" x 25" Pastel on black Firenze paper by artist Kelly Borsheim
This might be in poor taste for me to say, but the above sculpture of the crucified Christ struck me as the most sexy crucifixion that I have seen. It is not unusual for artists to depict the body of Jesus as robust, athletic, and at least healthy, but the way in which this figure is arching his back reminded me of the marble Ecstasy of Saint Teresa by sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
The image just above was taken from a window that overlooks an interior courtyard. While the architecture of the Palazzo Vecchio is by no means bland, it does seem a stark contrast to the riches and decoration inside the edificio (building).
Below: I enjoy the combination of elaborate art with simplicity. Below that: this is a glass window that has been painted inside a very small room.
This bronze Putto (circa 1480) by Andrea del Verrocchio is one of the more cherished sculptures inside the Palazzo Vecchio. Verrocchio was a Florentine goldsmith, sculptor, and painter. This Putto was produced for Lorenzo the Magnificent. Leonardo da Vinci was one of Verrocchio's students.
There is another one down in the bottom floor courtyard and I have photographed that one as well. I wrote about it on my blog when I was examining negative shapes, and just shapes in general. Have a look:
The Ceiling inside the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, Italy:
I once heard that one can spot the tourists in Florence because they are always looking up. This amuses me for a couple of reasons. First, maybe the tourists do not understand that they should be looking down to avoid the souvenirs that dogs tend to leave on the sidewalks here ;-). Second and most important, sometimes tourists are no dummies! There is art all around in Florence! So, look up!
Creatures and Fantasy
For years now I have been admiring the lacy, airy frescoes that sometimes decorate the lower walls in buildings around Florence. I mean that these frescoes tend to have more white space and I find that my eye enjoys the opportunity to rest. Stendhal Syndrome (becoming dizzy or faint or otherwise physically affected after viewing art) originated in Florence and one trip here could make you a believer. It is what my generation calls, "Information Overload." So, when artists realize the importance of calming or "blank" spaces within their designs, everyone benefits.
These "lighter" compositions rarely lack in imagination or even grace. They blend well with the more ornate ceilings, too. So, I gathered together some of my images taken of this particular brand of art and hope that you find the effect interesting.
Cappella di Eleonora (Eleonora Chapel) with Fresco by Bronzino
One eventually moves into the Sala Verde (green room). It is refreshing in its unusual green walls and restful feel. To one side is the Cappella di Eleonora (Eleonora Chapel) with Fresco by Bronzino [Agnolo di Cosimo (November 17, 1503 – November 23, 1572)]. The artwork depicts stories of Moses and was painted in 1564. The door you see in my images opens to one end of the famous Vasari Corridor, the private and elevated passageway from the Palazzo Vecchio to the Palazzo Pitti across the River Arno.
This next pair of images is dedicated to my dear friend Laurie Jasinski. Lei uses this same Latin phrase Festina Lente as her motto. It translastes to "Make Haste Slowly." It was also the motto of the Medici family, as described on my page about the marble Gymnast, held up by a four-headed turtle. The turtle connection was inspired by my time in Florence, Italy, so I was delighted to see the connection of turtles to Festina Lente.
Recent Blog Topics:
- My pastel drawing on black Firenze paper of Palazzo Vecchio at night
- Map Unveiling at Palazzo Vecchio during the 500th Anniversary of the Death of Amerigo Vespucci
- More Images of Verrocchio’s Putto sculpture
You may follow a variety of art topics on my blog:
(This is a different subscription list than the one for this art newsletter.)
Thank you for sharing my journey with me. By all means, forward this newsletter to anyone you think would enjoy it.
1 March 2012 [original print date]
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Give a Book Review:
Thank you for your interest and support in the book I wrote this past summer about being a street artist in Italy. I was thrilled to receive such glowing feedback about how I had shared not only the art and the artists, but also something of the political environment regarding street art, interaction with the public and other street performers (my favorite chapter is the one in which I have invited children to join me on the pavement), as well as images of the Renaissance City herself.
The book is titled "My Life as a Street Painter in Florence, Italy." If you have read the book and would like to help in the promotion of it, perhaps you would consider writing up a short review for Amazon.com (or even send me a testimonial for my own site). Your review does not have to be fancy. The intention is to help other people get a better idea about what is inside and whether or not they may enjoy the read.
Just click here. Scroll down to the section on Customer Reviews. Click on the button to the right that says, "Create your own review" Sign in and follow their guide.
I have about 20 copies here with me in Italy, so if you are also here, just write me and we will organize the rest…