I wandered the halls of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence today and was blown away by the building itself and the wonderful collection it held. I have a long and varied bucket list of must see art works. Having ticked off the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, Pieta, David, the Sistine Chapel as well as numerous Van Gough’s, Da Vinci’s, Picasso’s, Matisse’s to name but a few. Today my one “must see” painting was Botticelli’s Venus.
I was not disappointed. The detail and the colour are exquisite. Photographs simply do not do it justice. The painting is enchanting. I was also captivated by two of Rembrandt’s self portraits along with so many other works. However, one work of Botticelli’s that stood out for me today was The Calumny of Apelles. Perhaps it was the metaphor and allegory that captivated me. I was enthralled.
The painting depicts King Midas with ass ears, into which are whispering the figures of Ignorance and Suspicion. In front of Midas, stands the hooded, dark figure of Hatred, followed by Calumny dragging her nearly naked victim by the hair. Calumny is attended to by the figures of Deceit and Fraud who are adjusting her jewelry. Behind this group is the figure of Penitence, who looks away and towards the naked figure of Truth, who is pointing upwards towards heaven.
Great art fills me to overflowing. I revelled in the hours I spent wandering this wonderful gallery and have been on a high all day as a result.