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February 24, 2003

renaissance portraits

I stayed downtown today. Some of us from CIRCLE had an interesting lunch in Union Station, discussing research ideas with some potential applicants. I was also on my cell phone a fair amount, mostly talking to fellow NACE members about opportunities to mobilize the organization. In between things, I ran—literally ran—into the National Gallery. I headed for an area that I hadn't been in for a long time, and found myself looking at a couple of striking portraits of Guiliano de' Medici, who was murdered at mass in the Pazzi conspiracy. The Gallery has Botticelli's amazing painting (which looks almost like a fine modern cartoon, with its bold blocks of color and exeggerated features) and also Verocchio's large bust of the same young man. Guiliano is ugly but charismatic; confident or perhaps arrogant; and very much an individual. I can't think of anything else to write about these portraits except art-historical cliches ("Renaissance individualism," "unsentimental realism" ...), but it was a 25-minute break that will stay with me for a long time.

February 24, 2003 4:07 PM | category: fine arts | Comments


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