It has been one lovely weekend here in Firenze. Instead of going to another city this weekend, my roommate and I decided to stay here and explore the areas that we hadn’t yet discovered in the town we choose to call home. We bounced from art museum to art museum, with a little retail therapy in between and basked in the elegance of the city that is so full of art, culture and good wine.
Before I start my weekend, I must first discuss my experience on Thursday afternoon in my drawing class. Walking into art class, there was a lovely woman sitting on the couch in the back of the room. Since we had a model the week previous with whom we used a rubbing technique with an eraser to sketch her face (mine looked more like a gorilla), I was expecting we would be doing the same thing with this model. Humph. Next thing I knew, she was walking back into the room wearing a robe and as I looked questioningly while gathering around my teachers easel, I realized that yes… I would be drawing a nude model that day.
Now, I like to think that I am a very mature person for my age but lord help me if I didn’t almost start laughing as soon as she took off her robe. Much to my displeasure, the one good friend I have in the class wasn’t there that day so I couldn’t share my emotions with her (which was probably a good thing or I would’ve started to laugh). So instead I mustered up my maturity and headed to my easel and like my teacher said, tried to imagine her as a form rather than a woman… With boobs… And completely nude in front of me as I held my pencil up in front of her to measure her proportions.
All joking aside, I learned a lot about drawing in that class and actually discovered that although more specific, I enjoyed that form of drawing better than any of the previous we had tried. There was something so vulnerable and naïve about the model who had chosen to stand with confidence in front of a class of (luckily all female) college students. She was a full bodied Italian woman who probably eats pasta daily and never refuses a glass of wine. The whole experience made me appreciate a woman’s beauty and the imperfections that make up a perfect being.
Now that I am more than two months into my stay in Florence, I can’t say that I’ve restrained myself in the food arena, as you can see from my blog posts (sorry!). Yes my pants are getting rather tight and although I complain about my slight weight gain, I can’t help but think I won’t ever be surrounded by such great indulges for this period of time ever again. The sculptures and paintings of women that fill these art museums depict real ladies in their real figures. Never before had I actually realized how photoshopped Americans society has become. Even the campaigns that preach about “no retouching” still hold an heir of fakeness. These sculptures and paintings that have taken so long to perfect, show not only the hard work put into them but also the incredible features of a woman’s body. Sometimes I catch myself staring in awe, acknowledging that what they depict is truly how a woman’s body is supposed to look. American society is so fogged by perfection that true beauty gets pushed to the way side, leaving only computer generated images that take a mere 20 minutes to configure.
I find nothing more beautiful than a woman with confidence, one who is unafraid to stand in front of a room to be painted, knowing full well the inexperienced artists could paint her any which way. I feel blessed to be in a town that is so full of authentic and real art, art that has been crafted over hundreds of years. Never before did I have an appreciation for art the way I have since being here. I am enjoying all of the wonderful painted masterpieces and the beautifully sculptured marble butts don’t hurt either!
Stay tuned for my next post about my trip to the Uffizi, Bargello and Pitti Palace!
Until next time…