And I paid a visit. It was not like the old days, where you could wander at will, which is very sad. Now they have a “percorso” or path, which you have to follow and they have guards in every room watching you like a hawk. It didn’t feel like they were watching out for Covid. It felt like they thought I was going to damage or steal the art. I didn’t care for it. Plus, I was one of 3 visitors. I mean, really?
Despite my complaints, the museum is still a wonderful place with a fascinating collection. It is one of my favorite museums in Florence. Here are a few of my favorite things:
The unusual sculpture above, showing a woman breast feeding 2 children at once, is explained in the label above.
Here’s some info about the collector for whom the museum is named:
And here are some of his eclectic objets:
It’s official. My new favorite art form is medieval sculpture. I mean, look at the examples above and below. Did you ever see a sweeter angel above?
And, above, check out the lion caryatid figure. Notice that he has a poor ram pinned below his feet, for all eternity. The poor ram. I love the primitive charm of these sculptures!
When I backtracked to take a picture of this gorgeous Renaissance doorway was when I knew my visit yesterday was not going to be the carefree affair of the olden days. A mean, older woman reprimanded me for taking a few steps back towards where I had come from (although how you would notice the far side of the doorway you are walking through is beyond me), cackling at me that you must follow the path forward (I saw no signs showing me the path ahead either).
But, forget about her…look at the sumptuous doorway. Wow. What it must have felt like to use such casings.
Going upstairs, like a good girl, I arrived in the room for which I had come. I could spend hours in this gallery, if they would turn on all of the lights and get rid of the guards acting like I was going to damage the artworks.
Donatello’s Madonna and Child with the Apple
Donatello’s Madonna and Child, known as the Madonna and the Ropemakers:
And then there are the cassone, or the wooden chests (like a hope chest for an aristocratic Italian woman), that Bardini collected. If they would turn on the lights in the gallery and let me get close to the works, I would be in heaven. As it is, I’m halfway to heaven, just looking at the furniture and thinking about the girls/women whose lives they represent.
And then there are the cornice: the incredible frames that Bardini collected. Any American art museum would give eye teeth for one of these marvelous frames.
Moving into another gallery, I pass through another sumptuous doorway casing:
Beautiful painted crucifixes were also collected by Bardini. Below them, more cassone.
I could spend a day in this museum just studying the ceilings:
Or the Sienese sculpture:
Below, you might think you are looking at a rug on a floor, but it is a ceiling:
Upon leaving my favorite galleries, I go down this stairway, lined with rugs hung on walls. Very effective.
What a collection. Despite the guards, I love this museum!