Art is Everywhere

I just returned from two weeks in Italy. On my vacations, I love mixing up my experiences. While I’m very much into physical activities (we did a lot of hiking, biking, tons of wandering and a tiny bit of kayaking) I also like to feed the mind. What better place than the cradle of the Renaissance?

In Florence, there are a lot of famous pieces by famous artists. Sometimes the subjects are biblical, sometimes mythical. The mix of the two is interesting, as in Primavera (Spring) by Botticelli. It was stunning in person. I still don’t get the Medici.

Sculpture is a bit more up my alley, and seeing the original David was mind-blowing. There are stories about why Michelangelo chose the perspectives he did (small head, giant right hand) and I’ll leave it to you to look those up but let’s just say the man knew what he was doing.

There are different arguments about whether David’s expression is apprehensive, determined or blank. I’ll leave you to look those up, as well. For a thought-provoking insight into why David defeated Goliath I’ll point you toward Malcolm Gladwell’s book, David and Goliath, which is about why underdogs win. (Let’s just say life isn’t just about being big and strong.)

But art isn’t all about the past—it’s about the present and the future, too. We were very fortunate to attend the Biennale, an annual contemporary international art show that happened to be in Venice this year. One of my favorite pieces was this, called Facebook. Yes, it looks like Guernica. It’s a comment on social media. Contemporary art can be confusing and esoteric, but this one was on the money for me.

And I very much liked this now-permanent installation at the Arsanale docks in Venice. Love me some sculpture. Put your hands together for this one!

Art can also be found in nature. For example, in the placement of a town nestled in the mountain-side, seen from high-up on a mountain trail.

And what greater art can there be than in a perfectly prepared meal of grilled seafood? Especially when there’s octopus. Oh, the octopus!

Italy was a visual (and gastronomic) feast. I’m full (sono pieno.) For now (per ora). Ciao, Italia.

What are your favorite types of art?



  1. What an amazing trip you must have had, Kathleen, and I love your photos. Your post reminds me of a trip I made to Florence and Venice a few years much art. Seeing the David was special though. As for the food...fresh bufalo mozzarella ravioli in Sorrento!!

  2. Sounds like a great trip--and seeing the David in person must have been thrilling. I also like the idea of nature art or "accidental" art, like looking at tree from an certain angle and suddenly you realize it looks like a giant giraffe. No human hand involved. But the "hands" on the dock must have been amazing. I just love public art.

  3. What a great trip! I love seeing other people's travel photos. I used to go to the Art Gallery of Ontario a lot when I was in university. It was really cheap for students, and I'd spent hours wandering through the galleries. I liked the classical art--biblical, mythical, sublime. It makes you feel! Thanks for sharing your trip!

  4. Thanks for sharing about your trip. It's been years since I was in Italy, but I remember how much I enjoyed the art. And the food. Maybe the food even more! Loved your pictures. I'm sure you had a great time.

  5. What a wonderful trip! Isn't it amazing how stone sculptures can look so alive? I was always amazed at how Michelangelo could portray sheer draped fabric with rock. And Italian food is an art form itself.

  6. Looks like you have a wonderful trip! Love the pictures. No place like Italy for incredible art!

  7. It sounds like a terrific trip. I've read (listened to the book on CD) Gladwell's book. It is a different perspective on why disadvantages sometimes work toward a person's success. Did you see Michelangelo's unfinished sculptures? I haven't seen them in person, but the pictures are amazing. I was actually glad he didn't finish them because they look as if the figures are fighting their way out of the stone--kind of symbolic for certain aspects of life.

  8. Your trip sounds fabulous. For art I like Native American sand paintings. I also like art done on thin copper sheets, but I also like scenery more than people pictures. Or still life. My taste is eclectic. But the old world art would be wonderful to see in their original settings.

  9. Oh wow, do I love Italy. I even married and Italian! Well, he's half Italian, but still. We love traveling there and it really does refuel the spirit doesn't it? I love seeing your photos, Kathleen! As for art? I love renaissance art and impressionism, anything romantic, which is really no surprise! ;-)

  10. I'm sure your pictures of David can't begin to do it justice. What a fabulous trip you must have had. Someday I'd love to eat my way across Italy:-)


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