Road Trip and A Day of Culture

It would appear that the second copy of the Bronzino portrait of Eleonora and her son is located in the Detroit Institute of Arts

Which, geographically speaking, is a LOT closer to MN than Florence.  I am thinking a road trip might be in order to go and get up close and personal with the portrait.  Just the idea of it makes me giddy.  I cannot seem to find where the portrait of Eleonora in the silver brocade dress WITHOUT her son is located.  Perhaps a private collector?

(Venus Rising from the Sea, Titian, 1520)

I also spent this afternoon with my 13 year old visiting the Minneapolis Institute of Art’s visiting exhibit on “Titian and the Golden Age of Venetian Painting. ”  It was unbelievably amazing.   The only bad thing was that the paintings were behind glass, so there was a bit of a glare sometimes making it difficult to see details.  But it was completely worth the admission.  (I had free admission through the Minnesota Society of Costumers, but we had to pay for my 13 year old to see it.  She loved the whole thing.)

(The Adoration of the Kings, Bassano, 1540’s)

The colors in the paintings were so vibrant!  It has been awhile since I have been to MIA, so I had forgotten what real art looks like up close.  Look at the gorgeous teal color of the Virgin Mary’s gown.  It was so layered and bright in person.

(Diana and Actaeon, Titian, 1556-59)

We also got to see the two large Diana paintings as done by Titian.  I just love him and other painters of that era and their frank appreciation of the female form in ALL its flesh and curves.  Someone who didn’t appreciate it as much was the 3 year old boy who made a dash towards the paintings with his arms out, only to be very rapidly intercepted by a security guard who proceeded to read his Dad the riot act.  Just the thought of the cost of repairing a Titian painting was enough to make the guy paler than he had been when he entered the room.  They didn’t hang around for very long.

Seeing all of that beautiful Italian art from 1550-1600 was really inspiring and encouraging to me.  It was a wonderful thing to be able to share with my daughter.

We also went around and saw some of my favorite pieces from MIA, such as the Veiled Lady by Monti from 1860.  I remember seeing it for the first time as an elementary student and marveling over how the entire thing is carved from stone.  How did he DO that?  You look at it up close and it honestly looks like she is wearing a see-through veil.  Beautiful.

The MIA has other treasures like Van Gogh’s Olive Trees, several Lucas Cranach the Elder paintings, Rembrandt’s Lucretia and Clouet’s Charlotte of France.  If you are ever in the area I would highly recommend you check out the MIA.  Admission is free, as is parking. 

My new favorite portrait is this one, by Georges de la Tour.  It features a card-shark, his lover the Courtesan, her maid, and the rich dandy they are cheating.  My card-playing husband El Jefe wants to hang the print I bought in the hallway.  I’m inclined to let him.

Velvet Update:  Not here yet, but soon!

4 thoughts on “Road Trip and A Day of Culture

  1. Margo Anderson says:

    The Crocker Art Gallery in Sacramento used to have a copy of the portrait, attributed to Bronzino. It’s not listed in the collection on their website, but I’ve emailed the curator and asked if it’s still there. If so, how about a trip to Sacramento? If not, I’ll go look at it and take copious notes and photographs if they’ll let me.

    • Laura says:

      I would LOVE to take a trip to Sacramento, but I think Detroit is more likely right now. I am staging a rather aggressive campaign to go to Florence when the thing is complete. Woot!

      If you can go to look at the portrait I would really appreciate it! I am particularly interested in her shoulders. I am not sure if there is a roll there, or if the panes are somehow folded over…. have been looking through Moda a Firenze and not finding much. Off to Realm of Venus to explore! Thanks again!

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