Primavera

I washed the towels and hung them out last night. It rained. Oh well.

I didn’t tell you, but two days ago when we went to Boboli Gardens, we had actually intended to visit the Uffici. However, we arrived at ten in the morning to what we were informed was a six-hour wait. I didn’t think the children would think much of any museum after six hours in line, so we opted for the Gardens, which we guessed (rightly) wouldn’t be as crowded.

But last night we just happened to be walking by the Uffici on our way to the grocery store. There was no line, and they were just about to close the doors. So we popped in. It stays open for an hour after the doors are closed. We had a lovely time.

I can see the fruits of homeschooling. Axa recognized dozens of characters and stories from the Bible and mythology. She reminded me when I was puzzling over a painting of Perseus rescuing Andromeda from the sea monster that the figure flying in the air must also be Perseus, since Mercury had given him the loan of his winged sandals.

We also saw a painting of Leda and the swan. She is gazing down with motherly fondness on her two eggs, out of which have recently hatched twin boys (Castor and Pollux) and twin girls (Helen and Clytemnestra). Apparently they understood already six hundred years ago that monozygotic twinning actually DOES run in some families.

The highlight of the trip was definitely the Botticelli room. Two years ago, when we were home from Italy for what turned into a more extended visit than we’d hoped, the Ambleside Online art rotation had landed on Botticelli. I was pleased to find that four out of the six selections were housed in Florence at the Uffici, and immediately began making plans to see them. The plans have been slightly delayed, but our delight at seeing those paintings that we grew to love so well has only increased with time.

We first found Fortitude, smiling as serenely as ever, and more richly and beautifully colored than we had ever imagined her. The Madonna of the Magnificat was even more splendid in her gigantic round gilt frame. We’ve seen Venus everywhere in Florence (and even in Chiusa di Pesio painted large as life on a restaurant wall), and Axa was very pleased to find her again in the museum. And Primavera lit up the room, fitting in as perfectly with this spring as with all her other springs before.