0317: Walking around Florence

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The visual delights of Florence are legendary – the Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria, etc. The artwork, both inside the many museums and outside in the many piazzas, are certainly an eyeful. But so too is almost every small side street. Graffiti and street art is often clever and thoughtful (There is also, unfortunately, plenty of awful spray paint graffiti).IMG_9372_01_LR_12

Turning a corner might yield the sight of a Renaissance mural juxtaposed against modern life. Peeking in a window near the Duomo shows a workshop where artisans keep up centuries old traditions.

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A stroll through a graveyard (San Miniato al Monte) showed unique headstones…

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…and a most interesting crypt.

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And then there is a very clever artist (or artists) at work who turns simple traffic signs into amusing and sometimes provocative statements…

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…little visual asides that you catch out of the corner of your eye…

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…but linger in your head…

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…along with a smile lingering on your face!

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I had to include some fossils today, so I thought this little selection would work nicely.

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These are gastropods from the fossil collection of the Paleontology section of the Florence Museum of Natural History.

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They relate to an upcoming exhibition that will open at the museum in May. More on that as the date approaches.

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I did manage to take a break from working all of my Florence files to come up with something new at the studio. Ironically, new shooting began with my Moroccan trilobite (above) which I found in a Florence flea market! And, below, something I brought back from a walk in the woods yesterday.

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Thanks for the visit.

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0129: Busy Packing

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Today’s opening image is from a small park in Florence, directly across the street from where Cindy and I will be spending the month of February. So I am busy wrapping up loose ends, packing, and studying up on all things related to this newest adventure. I don’t know yet if I will be posting regularly – it will probably be sporadic at best. But I am sure that I will be returning with a trove of images.

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One of the things I am wrapping up is the further breakdown of the rock from the stone fence that I displayed last week. As I expected, there was much more to it once I broke it down further. Picture 3 (below) is of a gastropod I very carefully uncovered. It is two inches in diameter and was originally covered by a segment of rock (the area upper-left in blue). Picture 2 (above) shows the impression of the gastropod that I peeled away.

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And here are a couple more views. I can often be “all thumbs” when I try to extract something of such interest. But this time patience ruled the day and I had something particularly good to show for it!

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As I said, these coarse sandstones are often full of interesting fossils. And this one did not let me down.

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We managed a quick visit to NYC to see some museum shows that will be down by the time we get back. A great surprise was our first visit to the new Whitney Museum. It was an absolute delight. The architecture is spectacular and gives many opportunities to uniquely display large works and also give museum visitors wonderful views of the city.

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I had forgotten that so many of my very favorite works of art are part of their permanent collection. So it was like visiting old friends to see the likes of Philip Guston, George Tooker, and Arshile Gorky at their very best.

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This painting, “The Artist and His Mother” by Gorky always brings tears to my eyes – as sensitive as any painting I know! If you haven’t visited the new Whitney Museum yet please try to find the time.

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I’ll leave you with a view of Ponte Vecchio taken on our last trip to Florence. Thanks for the visit. I’ll try to be back soon.

More From Italy

Halloween is coming so I thought the opening image would be appropriate. According to latest weather reports we in the NorthEast might be visited by the “perfect storm.” Between that and the last several days of overcast and periodic rain I’m staying close to the studio waiting for dryer days. Plenty to keep me busy though. With such a vast wealth of subject matter at my disposal I often find myself moving quickly from one new discovery to the next. And one of the results is that promising images are forgotten (or at least set aside for “a rainy day!”)

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So today I am revisiting my photo library and returning to my work last year in Italy. The fossil images displayed come from my time photographing the collection at the Natural History Museum of Florence. These six images are interspersed with other images from that trip. No particular rhyme or reason other than that they, like so many other images buried in the library, deserve a viewing. Nothing more to say other than I hope you enjoy!

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Thank you as always for visiting. More images at www.artmurphy.com

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