Evocative U

(ee-vok'-uh-tiv) Bringing strong images, memories, or feelings to mind

Glenn Murray

Written by Glenn Murray. I design and build cool software. CV

Here's my latest think piece.

PonteVecchio2019

Florence has so much incredible art, architecture and history, it’s overwhelming. My emotions could barely keep up.

In 1401 a competition was held for designing a set of doors to the Florence Baptistry. Each sculptor was required to create a bronze panel depicting the Sacrifice of Isaac. Two entries by young sculptors Brunelleschi and Ghiberti were originally adjudged a tie, with both contestants offered a joint commission.

Brunelleschi would have none of it and withdrew from the competition, moving to Rome to study architecture. He later designed and built the dome of the Florence Cathedral, one of the greatest feats in the history of architecture.

The original panels by Brunelleschi and Ghiberti currently reside in the Bargello Museum (below). Ghiberti's "winning" entry is on the left.

FlorenceDoorContest2019

The Uffizi, Florence's preeminent museum, was crowded and noisy. It's hard to begrudge anyone's attempt at art appreciation, but my patience was often tried. With the overall increase in world travel, again - difficult to begrudge, top landmarks like the Uffizi and Venice's St. Mark's Square are approaching critical mass.

My place in Florence was in a villa owned for centuries by a prominent Florentine family. Nowadays they rent out part of the villa to help pay for upkeep of the estate. The view from my room was onto their garden, a park really, which is the largest private garden in Florence. The tower was originally used for astronomy. Based on the number of birds I saw flying in and out of the nooks and crevices, it’s now just a giant birdhouse.