Friday, November 23, 2012

Bargello National Museum

, Although there are many interesting treasures in this small museum, the Donatello Room in and of itself is worth the visit, containing as it does the original statue of St. George, moved from its niche in the Orsanmichel. The base of the statue contains a bas relief of  his combat with the dragon, complete with fair maiden, done, as the guide books say, in rilievo stiacciato, or flattened relief, a method whereby the image is manipulated so as to appear to recede into the background.  Unfortunately, time and atmospherics have so blurred the marble that this quality was not obvious to me.

Also of interest was the statue of St. John, the Evangelist, suitably gaunt and looking like a prelim for his later striking work of Mary Magdaline, now in the Museo dell'Opera.

Another surprise in this room were works not by Donatello,  but finalist submissions for the 1401 contest for a design to replace the east doors of the Bapistry. Seeing the works of  Brunelleschi and Ghiberti mounted side by side on the wall, I could see features I liked in each submission, as did the committee who did the judging.


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