Italy 2012–Part 2


This is it! If going to Giverny was meditation in your studio, Florence is a full-blown pilgrimage. To sum up the experience in days and visits would be akin to describing a toblerone bar by its individual peaks. The sheer ecstasy of viewing ‘Birth of Venus’ and ‘Spring’ by Sandro Botticelli, in the flesh, is so powerful it consumes every other experience you have had so far. In parts, it is at best a child’s attempt, albeit a gifted child. The toes of Venus look crooked. The bust of Venus has rudimentary circles around each appendage, never attempting to appear realistic. Despite all of these, when everything is brought together, and you step back a little to get the full frame in view, pure magic happens. You can spend hours gazing at the innocence oozing from Venus’ eyes, oblivious of her state of undress. The fact that you couldn’t ogle at her as an object of desire is a triumph of Renaissance art. You could feel the zephyr that blows her to the banks of the sea. You could feel light-speed in Flora’s feet and the urgency in her hands awaiting to cover Venus with new garbs. The golden light that illuminates the grass gives a warmth that has to be seen to be felt. You stand transfixed with tears streaming down your cheeks, never wanting to peel yourself off the floor, completely oblivious of the gasps and the rukus in the room. This is one of the defining moments of your life. It took three hours of waiting to get the tickets and enter the museum. This one moment is worth the hours of wait, at the museum as well in numerous airports and railway stations. Many a man/woman has lost their life for more trivial things.

Now you turn to your right and the moment is held longer by Botticelli’s next masterpiece, ‘Spring’. It is too much to one’s senses to see them both on the same day. To see them both within moments to each other is pure sensory overload. Would it be possible to share this moment with someone else? The question is, would you be willing to share this moment with someone else? Do you have that someone, with whom you can share this moment and feel that you have not halved your experience but in fact have multiplied it?

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