It is great honor for me to be a guide for George Bush in Florence. I will do my best to ensure that he remembers Florence as the most beautiful place on Earth and realizes why this city is literally a magnet attracting tourists from the most remote areas. Every person who is fond of art needs to visit this gorgeous spot at least once in his life. Florence gets visited by tourists in the millions because it offers them an astonishing variety of scenes.
Even though one day of being in Florence is by no means enough to grasp the whole feeling of the city, it can still create an overwhelming delight in the person’s heart, and make him thirsty to see more during the following visits. It is my goal to help George Bush get immersed into Florence’s atmosphere from the very first minutes of the visit. He will be able to understand why Florence is one of the world’s most enjoyable cities. He will never forget this beautiful experience and keep desiring to return here many times in the future.
Many people know that Florence was the Italian city which gave birth to Renaissance, but very few of them can actually explain why. In order to be able to answer this question, one needs to get acquainted with the masterpieces of Renaissance artists. They do not have any analogues in the world; they are absolutely unique. Every piece of art created during that epoch breathes with the feeling of freedom and unlimited inspiration which knows no borders.
I want to show such pieces of art to George Bush so that he hears them talk to him through ages. The first place of interest which we are going to visit will be The Casa Buonarroti, the house in which outstanding artist Michelangelo lived; then we will proceeded to Romanesque baptistery which is famous for scenes from Old Testament created by Lorenzo Ghiberti on its doors; and finally we are going to visit Brancacci Chapel the frescos of which were gradually painted by Masolino, Masaccio and Filippino Lippi, the most famous Renaissance artists. All of these places are very unique, and they can tell a great deal about the Renaissance epoch.
The Casa Buonarroti is going to be particularly interesting for the President because this is the place where Michelangelo lived and created his masterpieces. There can be nothing more extraordinary than starting to visit to Florence from visiting the house of the perhaps the most outstanding artist of Renaissance. Even though Michelangelo did not step in his house for many centuries, it is possible to feel his presence there many years after. The house was transformed into a museum by one of Michelangelo’s relatives, Michelangelo Buonarroti the Younger, in 17th century. The museum not only has created work of Michelangelo, but also painting of other famous artists depicting the scenes from his life and his virtues. It is impossible to avoid visiting this museum during the visit to Florence.
Romanesque baptistery is going to impress George Bush due to many reasons; first, it is one of the oldest buildings in Florence and thus tells a lot about its history; second, it would appeal to the President’s interest in religion; third, it has scenes from Old Testament created by famous Lorenzo Ghiberti on its doors. Lorenzo Ghiberti is one of the most famous sculptors of his time. It is common truth that these days, some people would pass by this legendary building even without stop. Some young people do not appreciate these masterpieces as much as they should.
However, Romanesque baptistery needs to be noticed and remembered by everybody because nothing can compare to Lorenzo Ghiberti’s creative work on its panels. The gates which he created into the baptistery were called “gates to paradise” by his contemporaries. One can easily tell which scenes from Bible the artist depicted. He worked most of his life on these pieces of art, and they impress tourists until these days. In the middle panel there is a scene of Jacob and Esau depicted. All of the characters of the Bible are painted in such a way as if they are alive and are almost going to jump off the panels.
The last site which we are going to visit is Brancacci Chapel. It has very unique architecture and it famous for the frescos gradually painted by Masolino, Masaccio and Filippino Lippi. The history of painting frescos for this chapel is really impressive. In the beginning of 15th century a Florence ambassador to Egypt commissioned Masolino to paint the frescos for the cathedral.
After completing some work, the famous artist charged his student Masaccio with this task, and Masaccio brilliantly coped with the part of the work which the master assigned to him. However, Masolino did not have a chance to finish the work entirely due to his death, therefore, the frescos remained unfinished until Filippino Lippi, another famous artist, added the last strokes to the paintings in the end of 15th century.
This chapel will be particularly interesting for George Bush because it will tell him very much about the differences of styles of one of the most famous Italian painters of all times. One can easily capture slight differences between the strokes done by Masolino, Masaccio and Filippino Lippi because each of them had his own unique style. However, the frescos turned out completely extraordinary as the result of their combined work.
I very much hope that the visit of George Bush to Florence turns out very enjoyable. All of the sites which I picked out for him are going to let him fall in love with Florence during one day, and look forward to going back soon.
Art History Gardeners Art through Ages. Volume 2.
Becker Marvin B. Florence in Transition – Vol. 1. Baltimore, Johns Hopkins Press, 1967.
Cornelison Sally J. A French King and a Magic Ring: The Girolami and a Relic of St. Zenobius in Renaissance Florence. Renaissance Quarterly 55. 2002.
Cornelison Sally J. Art Imitates Architecture: The Saint Philip Reliquary in Renaissance Florence. The Art Bulletin. Volume: 86. Issue: 4. 2004.
Gani Martin. The Gems of Florence. World and I. Volume: 13. Issue: 9. September 1998.
Holmes George Florence, Rome, and the Origins of the Renaissance. Clarendon Press, 1986
Picano Felice. Forever Florence: Felice Picano Rekindles the Forbidden Passion and Unmatched Glory of Tuscany’s Perpetually Blooming Flower. The Advocate. August 17, 2004.
Richard C. Trexler, “Ritual Behavior in Renaissance Florence: The Setting,” Medievalia et Humanistica 4. 1973.