Leonardo da Vinci once said, “Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art.”
Nowhere else does art and artistry encapsulate everything they do, what they create, the professions they choose, and how they ultimately live as abundantly as it does in Italy. It has arguably been the epicenter of art in all its forms for centuries. Not only is it said to have more masterpieces per square mile than any other country in the world, but also it has the innate ability to bring exceptional artistry to architecture, music, product design, fashion, food, wine, and of course, ceramics. It’s indicative of the artistic lens from which the culture and its people view their everyday world.
We should all be so lucky.
To spend time in Italy is to spend time in art. For an Italian, it’s like breath – one must have it in order to live. When you visit Italy, you can’t imagine going there and not spending time in at least one of its awesome museums or galleries.
The Uffizi Gallery in Florence is one of the oldest museums in the world and contains famous works by Michelangelo, Caravaggio, da Vinci, and Botticelli. If you’re in Rome and touring the Vatican City, viewing the ceiling in the Sistine Chapel in person is a must. A visit to Venice means a visit to the Academy Gallery to view Florentine art and amazing works by Bellini, Carpaccio, Giorgione, Titian, and Tintoretto, and of course, Leonardo’s Vitruvian Man.
From Etruscan to Roman, Renaissance to Baroque, and Neoclassical to Modern, there is something for every taste.
But my absolute favorite still remains a visit to the Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence to see the original David by Michelangelo. While there are replicas placed throughout the city, the beauty and luminosity of the original marble version is simply unmatched. I go every time I visit Florence, but my very first trip was the most memorable.
The moment you turn right into the main hall and immediately catch a glimpse of his 17-foot tall and imposing presence, you are overwhelmed with emotion. The light is perfectly cast to bring the greatest depth and color to his delicate marble skin. It’s pristine but somehow full of life and warmth.
"I created a vision of David in my mind and simply carved away everything that was not David." -- Michelangelo
Photos can never mimic the visceral response you get walking up to the sculpture and being able to take it in from all sides. It’s an experience that should be on everyone’s bucket list—art lover or not.
Thankfully for all of us, art can be enjoyed anywhere at any time. Passports and airline tickets don’t restrain us – we can visit local galleries and museums, peruse art exhibits and street fairs, or simply browse through books or websites. Art and art makers are all around us.
At Modigliani, the artists who create our small masterpieces humble us. Whether it’s for a large collection or as part of a special series, they bring their unique skill and creativity to make a lovely piece of art. Art to be shared. Art to be enjoyed. Art to be used every day.
We want to encourage all of you to get out in your local communities and support the arts and artists. There’s bound to be something going on if you just look around.
And if you happen to be in the Kansas City area September 22 – 24, be sure to visit the 2017 Plaza Art Fair. This national art event spread over nine city blocks will have live music, over 25 restaurant booths, and of course, over 240 artists. We would love to have you stop by our popup store located on The Country Club Plaza at Restoration Emporium to see our artist's creations in person.
Finally, to wrap up our month long focus on the arts; we’ll be debuting new additions to our Artist Series at the end of this month. Each of these pieces is one-of-a-kind and offers a unique flair. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do. Stay tuned to our Facebook page for more coming soon.
Tara Jantzen is a freelance writer living in Southern California. Throughout her extensive career she has traveled all over the world, but considers Italy her favorite destination. She’s spent many trips learning first-hand about food, cooking, olive oil, wine, and the spirit of the Italian lifestyle. She has also completed the WSET Level 2 Award in Wine and Spirits and hopes to continue her wine education with Level 3 in the near future.