Saturday, February 23, 2013

Florence: The Graveyard of San Miniato al Monte


THEY call it the Remembrance Park.
  I like a graveyard, mostly because it makes me feel better about my character names, a lot of real people had crazy names. You’ll see.



One day we had some time, and Dad wanted to walk. So we took a taxi to the church on the hill, just up the hill actually from where David used to be, and walked back. 
Around back of this church is a really great graveyard, huge and cool and free.


Detail: Establishing shot for the cool bust.


Portrait: This is the sort of bust I’d like to have over my grave. 
 I mean look at him, he just doesn’t care. 
Most people when they’re posing for their busts comb their hair, put on a suit and take off their hat.
Not this guy! He doesn’t care!
Good job, guy.


Detail: Mark Yesterday


Detail: James Strong, and his wife, White Strong. 


Detail: The Write family.


Detail: Ms. Death Party.
{Not actually what her name was, but it’s what it looks like.}


Detail: These Celts kind of surprised me. 
How did they get all the way down here?


These little buildings were everywhere, the signs called them “Chapels” and they were like a tiny church built over your dead relative. 
Dad wants to build one like this is our yard. 


Panorama: My best Panorama of Florence.

St. Peter’s Basilica {2/2}

WHEN you walk into St. Peter’s basilica your senses sort of overload.
 It’s a HUGE space, the walls, covered in carved marble, sometimes that is covered is gold, there are paintings of bible scenes I know nothing about and statues of Popes and Saints with names I’d never even heard, it’s overpowering.
 Frankly, I didn’t like it. It was too much all at once.


Detail: Two of these cardinals/popes were obviously the best ones, Iacobo 3 and Iacobo 2. 
{Iacobo is Latin for Jacob.} 


Detail: A Corner. 


Scene: The main entrance 
Included: People for scale.


Panorama: The main hall. 
Included: People for scale.


Detail: An archway and a mini–dome that you could fit a school bus inside, painted with biblical scenes.


Detail: Even the not–special archways are covered in gold and a pattern you could spend an hour deciphering in your brain.


Scene: A statue of St. Phillip Neri and an angel. Rendered in marble, surrounded by marble, in front of a room covered in gold.


Scene: A Hall.
Again with nothing matching. You spent all kinds of money to cover everything in marble and gold, you’d think you could invest in a little bit of symmetry.


Detail: I think this must be a pope, because his wall–carpet has an official seal in the pattern.
And he’s holding some keys, that’s the dead giveaway. 
Only popes are allowed keys.


Italian Vignette: While they might have gone a little overboard on the gold and marble, I’ll admit the Catholics do know how to make a darned dramatic window.


Panorama: I think this one’s a Pope too, that’s the seal above him.
Included: Way too much pink marble, and Dad.


Panorama: I din’t take enough pictures for this panorama to really work.
The Titular St. Peter’s Chair.


Panorama: This is the Papal Altar, where the Pope goes to pray. 


Panorama: Papal Altar in Context.


Scene: An arch.
Included: People for scale. 


A statue of Pius the seventh.


On the Pope’s Seal I Spy: Three Bees, Two Keys, and One Old Man’s Face.


Detail: The inside of a dome. 


Portrait: Dad taking that same picture.


Detail: As you walk out you see the door, and how it’s covered in detailed metalwork depicting several things, these Popes, for one, with their fancy hats and creepy hands.


Panorama: And opposite the cheery Popes: Human Beings being brutally torn apart. 


Detail: Just a random bit of the front of the basilica.


Landscape: St. Peter’s Basilica.


Next we decided to walk over to Sistine chapel.


The Sistine Chapel is in the Vatican Museum, we got there just as it was closing. 
Pro Tip though: You can stay inside and keep looking around for an hour after the museum closes.


Detail: The Ceiling of the map room.


Scene: You have to walk through like five museums to get to the Sistine chapel, including one museum of just paintings of maps.


Detail: A painting of a painting of a map stuck to a painting of a map. 
Trompe l‘oeil! 
Let me clarify: You are looking at a single painting.
A painting of a map with another painting of a map stuck on it.


You can’t really read the words anymore, but I liked the intensity of the blue.


Panorama: A painting of a map of Italy.


Landscape: They don’t let you take pictures in the Sistine Chapel. 
So here’s what Happened: 
  The Sistine chapel isn’t just The Creation Of Adam, although that’s right in the center of the ceiling. Literally every space on every wall is covered with biblical scenes, painted in the renaissance. 
 It’s just insane. 
   At some point in the Basilica Dad’s brain got overloaded, all he could do was go “…wooaah…” so by the time we had walked through several museums and got to the Sistine Chapel he was pretty out of it. 
  I pointed out the famous one, The Creation of Adam, and he just couldn’t process anything. His brain was overloaded.
There’s a hallway, that’s how you get in and out and as we walked out the hall way Dad stopped and said “Wait, Why were you pointing out that one in the centre?” 
  “Well,” I replied “It’s the famous one.” 
 “Yeah but why? Why is it famous?” 
 “Well, Michelangelo painted the whole thing, the whole ceiling–” 
 “OH. OH. Geez, Thank you, I forgot about that, I would have missed it. I’m pretty out of it.” 
“Me too, Dad.” 


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