I’ve done my duty and visited the Galleria dell’Accademia to see Michelangelo’s David. While appreciating the magnificence and symbolism of the statue, I was underwhelmed. (I don’t think it’s because I’d seen so many representations of it beforehand; other artworks have blown me away when I finally saw them in person after seeing them in pictures.) More interesting to me was seeing the unfinished Michelangelo sculptures in the hallway leading up the David – the figures truly looked as if they were trying to break free of the stone.
What caught my eye as we wandered through the rest of the museum was a small gallery housing a series of panels by Taddeo Gaddi. The panels depict stories of Christ and St. Francis of Assisi and originally decorated a reliquary cupboard. In their gold-rimmed quatrefoil frames, they glowed in the dimly-lit room, drawing me in to look at them more closely.
The ticket included admission to the Museum of Musical Instruments and that was the best part of my visit. Most of the instruments were beautiful (a couple were just weird). There were computers available with a nicely-done program that included information on the various instrument makers and recordings of music from the time of the Medici and the Lorraine. I didn’t get to read and listen to more than a small percentage of the program, so I’ll be going back there.
As I said, duty done on the David and as a bonus, I discovered the beautiful panels and the fascinating Museum of Musical Instruments.