it took me four hours to walk around the Uffizi in Florence (in 2010). The first two hours was simply to walk across each floor taking a survey, an overview of what was there – the artworks, the architecture, the long corridors, the views through the windows.
I then took another two hours going back to the few I wanted to be with. Just sitting, drawing but mostly looking.
The experience is rich.
Leonardo’s ‘The Annunciation’ was one of the paintings I spent time with. I realise that the focus of this painting is about someone (angel) delivering a message (impending birth to Someone Important) to someone (a virgin). But for me, it’s the trees in the background that I particularly love. I don’t know why, but I do. How frustrating for Leonardo if I were to tell him that.
It reminds me of the often said point, that it is what one sees in something that makes that thing important (or not), valued (or not), beautiful (or not). What one communicates is not what is necessarily received by another. What to do? For someone like me, getting different perspectives is great for creating a richer or more expansive understanding on something. Otherwise, it’s just me and my views.
Oh dear. Am I being obtuse or something? Anyway, I really like Leonardo’s painting. I do.
BTW: A fantastic podcast ‘Learning from Leonardo’ (1 hour: ABC Radio National): http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/bigideas/learning-from-leonardo/5863056