Sunday, March 18, 2012

My Favorite Sculptures at Museo dell'Opera del Duomo (Florence)

The dominant architecture in the great Renaissance city Florence was its Duomo complex - Santa Maria del Fiore, the Baptistery and the Campanile. It was exhilarating to visit it, especially climbing up the ever narrower stairs to see the city and the beyond. However, it also boasted a nice little museum - Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, opened in 1891, considered one of the most important Italian ecclesiastical museums.

One of the most impressive works in the museum was a wood sculpture, "Magdalene Penitent", by the great Renaissance sculptor Donatello.  However, this work, though ultra realism, reminded me of medieval icon more, particularly the emaciated figure and its strangeness.  Magdalene, covered with rough cloth and matted hair, dripping with penitence, was as pitiful as she was chaste.  An unforgettable sight.  This was not a pretty sight, as must be of Donatello's intention..

Donatello, White Poplar, c. 1453-1455

The other work impressed me very much was a marble sculpture, "The Deposition", (Pietà Bandini), by Michelangelo.

This group sculpture, though depicting heartbreaking moment, was demur and serene, full of grace and humility. The limping limbs of Jesus and his torso, though in an acrobatic pose, was without agony.  Those masses just gently settling down.  This was of a very humanistic approach and the polishes stone, emitted comforting warmth, in a dimmed gentle light.

My Favorite Museum Collection Series

>> My Favorite Museum Collection Series 20: Vasari Frescoes and Michelangeo Sculpture - My Favorite Works at Palazzo Vecchio, Firenze
<< My Favorite Museum Collection Series 18: My Favorite Sculptures at Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Firenze, Italia

List of My Favorite Artworks in the Museums I've Visited

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