renaissance

The details of Michelangelo’s David

052    On March 6th, the anniversary of Michelangelo Buonarrotti’s birthday I had the chance to finally visit the David. Upon walking into the Accademia there is no excitement, the first room is yellow tinted with unappealing lighting. In the center stands an early cast of Rape of the Sabines by Giambologna, the walls carry scattered paintings. Turn left and you enter a long hallway where suddenly the David strikes you. The hallway includes a number of statues by Michelangelo as well but they are impossible to focus on when there is the beacon of natural light meeting marble at then end of the hall.

It is impossible not to rush straight ahead to the David. He stands on a pediment, and although I have seen the one in Piazza della Signoria, I thought the real statue was smaller. This massive larger than life statue holds your attention. A large part of this is due to its position.  A jewel of the museum it is almost as if the museum was built around this statue, rather than having it moved there later.

Michelangelo David Florence

 

When I imagined David smaller, I imagined the viewer could meet his gaze, whereas in reality Michelangelo’s ability to create moving emotion shows through and David intently looks up to his left, as if meeting the gaze of Goliath.  In reality, it originally looked to Rome, a message sent from the Medici Democracy to the Papal State.

While his gaze does not meet the views, the strong aspect of his hand and his overall presence within the space is enough to complete a sense of awe.

Michelangelo's David Gaze Michelangelo's David, Hand detail

Once the viewer can pull themselves back into the moment, away from the statue, the other statues in the hall become clearer. Of these 6 other statues, 4 are Michelangelo’s unfinished Slaves, meant to be placed on the Pope Julius II tomb. While they may not seem “beautiful” in our eyes that are trained to see finished works as beautiful, they reveal a new part of the process. How does a block of marble become an inspiring work of art? Michelangelo carved from the front back, having the figures emerge. When looking at these however, it appears the reverse, that the figures are slowly melting back into the marble.

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Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain

Figuring out how to get a moving water effect, and I must say I am pretty proud!

 

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Fruit, Gelato and God.

Fruit, Gelato and God.

( Click to enlarge)
A small piazza around the corner from the Trevi, where a food cart waits for tourists and a church stands alone.

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What would you like to see in Rome?

Something a little different, I need some feedback from all of you and you friends, family, etc!

I am in a Cultural Heritage Management class and our final project is to come up with a plan to regenerate an area of Rome. These final plans will then be presented in front of ICCROM at their headquarters and have a potential for being picked up as a real project. For those of you who do not know who ICCROM is, they are an organization which works to conserve cultural heritage, they are one of the more successful organization working with UNESCO. You can check out more of what they do here: http://www.iccrom.org/

All of us already have a plan in mind, however it would be great to hear from people planning on visiting, who might have experienced or will experience the city differently from us. The point it to bring in more tourism to this area, so an idea of outsiders interests would be wonderful!

Here are the areas and idea’s for plans(apologies for lack of quality photos this area was difficult.):

1. An Airplane Hanger from the 1930’s. It was a personal gift from Hitler to Mussolini and held many of the small planes of WWII. It is empty and abandoned now, on one side is a car park for Roman police vehicles. Ideas that have been proposed for this area are mainly exhibition spaces, another museum similar to Montemartini, or maybe a gathering spot/restaurant with planes of the era to set a theme.

Inside of the Hanger

Inside of the Hanger

Looking in through the fence this is the present state of the hanger.

Looking in through the fence this is the present state of the hanger.

The outside entrance from the side of the Police car lot

The outside entrance from the side of the Police car lot

2. Pontifical Arsenal of the Baroque Period. This is set along the river, but with trees and overgrown areas blocking the view. It is an open space but has potential to be enclosed. It has two gates for Entry. This used to hold boats, when they were being repaired on Rome’s river Port. Post WWII it was the area where one could find stolen bicycles, made famous in the film  Ladri di Bicicletta. This street is used as a market on Sunday, however the building is closed off. I plan to present this with a long-term and short-term plan. Short term: put up walls, and turn it into a large warehouse coffeehouse, with Italian style bar, and music playing every few nights. Use this to raise money for the long-term plan. The long-term plan would be to cut the surrounding trees to open the view, add a second floor, have the ground floor as a bar and restaurant with the upstairs an exhibition space.

Front of he building from across the road.

Front of he building from across the road.

We were not allowed in but it is possible to see the slightly buttressed style inside.

We were not allowed in but it is possible to see the slightly buttressed style inside.

The back of the building as seen from the back yard of the store next door.

The back of the building as seen from the back yard of the store next door.

Through the gate it is possible to see a little more of the front end.

Through the gate it is possible to see a little more of the front end.

3. Roman Emporium, unfortunately I do not have pictures of this as it is under scaffolding. It it is a few ruined arches alongside the river, it can only be used in Summer as it is along the river and the river often floods. It needs constant cleaning, has a few ceilings and is very important to the Roman history of this area. We are lost on plans for this except the possibility to integrate it into a summer bar as it is beside two night life areas.

4. The GIL, a youth fascist building. Presently this is a great example of architecture of the Fascist period, done by Luigi Moretti, a famous architect of the time. Walls have been added inside to separate the part of the building owned by Commune di Roma and Regione Lazio. Roma’s side is a gym and pool, complete with soccer fields outside. Lazios side is an exhibition space for presently photography, then there are many open rooms available for use, including a movie theater.  The plans presented for this were to open the surrounding area to better accentuate the architecture, then possibly an outdoor bar, and make it a community building, connecting the two sides.

The front of the building, this is the half that belongs to Regione Lazio

The front of the building, this is the half that belongs to Regione Lazio

Inside the exhibition space

Inside the exhibition space

Left over decoration from Mussolini

Left over decoration from Mussolini

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So please tell us if you would be interested in any of these ideas! And if you have other ideas that would more likely bring you to this area please share them! We are trying to come up with a reachable plan that will bring tourists to the great historic area of Rome.

 

Piazza Santa Maria

Piazza Santa Maria

This is Piazza Santa Maria, just a short walk from my school it is one of my favorite places. Of course the bars are quite pricey, but they are worth the view. It is also located a short bit away from Piazza Trilussa, a popular night life neighbourhood. If visiting take just a quick stop in he piazza, and check out the church. The Church holds a facade with three different time periods, the Middle Ages, the Byzantine and the Renaissance.