Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Milan, DaVinci´s city - Milano, città DaVinci

Recently I had the opportunity to visit Milan, Italy. This was an unexpected trip and my very first time on the city which worth a lot due to its historical aspects. I knew Leonardo DaVinci lived part of his life in the city - actually he was hired by the monarchy and spent 25 years in Milan. This was an interesting aspect, as he had his montly salary without the need to hunt for commissions thus facilitating him to concentrate on his projects.
The city breaths DaVinci in many aspects and it was trully a joy to visit the Last Supper on a guided tour: I found I knew only 20% about the historical aspects of the masterpiece and was touched not only by the painting but by the amount of information shared during the visit. Unfortunately the environment allows maximum of 30 visitors during 15 minutes only, with reservations done months upfront, but it worths the visit.
The following wikipedia text is very helpful to fully understand this masterpiece - The Last Supper explained - followed by this fantastic virtual tool: Last Supper High Definition at Halta Definizione.

In addition to that there´s a great exhibition of DaVinci´s drawing, on Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, but there was so much to see: Caravaggio, Raphael and for my surprise Francesco Hayez (check Francesco Hayez´s biography), a painter I didn´t know by then (a good resource for his most known paintings: Francesco Hayez´s gallery).
Back at Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, the following painting trully caught my attention: 

La Maddalena Penitente - 1825 - Pinacoteca Ambrosiana

This was one (of the many) renderings Francesco did for Mary Magdalene, but there´s something about this one especially on her contemplative face that speaks to the beholder in a very introspective way.
Thanks to the Internet, many of these artworks can be seen here: Pinacoteca Ambrosiana Virtual Tour . The highligth of the museum is a Raphael`s cartoon (a huge sketch) for School of Athens (Scuola di Atenas).
On another museum, named Pinacoteca di Brera there was the most famous Francesco´s painting, named The Kiss (Il Bassio) . Very good explanation on this masterpiece here and a ultra high definition here: The Kiss by Francesco Hayez at Halta Definizione

Last but not least, Pixar is cellebrating its 25 years of production and Milan's Pavilion of Conteporary art is hosting this exhibition, running until February 14th.  This one is packed with many sketches, concepts, originals and reproductions - very good slide show can be found here. The highlight is the Toy Story Rotoscope - on the video bellow is the one at the end, showing the Toy Story characters playing around.

On the top of everything else, the urban city is a must for inspiration, if you like plain air or sketching. I couldn't help myself and had to paint the Duomo Cathedral, bellow.

-acrylics on sketchbok-