Saturday, May 8, 2010

Afternoon in the Park with Bernini

Discovered a new love in Rome.   Bernini.   How have I not fully noticed him before?   I walk by his fountains several times a day.   They are stunning works, but I’ve never really paused to appreciate.    

I spent a good part of Thursday afternoon in the Villa Borghese gardens and in the Galleria Borghese.    I’ve always loved the park for its greenery and relative peace and quiet, but I’ve never had an opportunity to visit the gallery.   This is due in part to the fact that you need to reserve a spot in advance and I never quite got around to that in prior visits.

Thursday was the perfect day for park strolling and museum going.   Cool, cloudy.   An on and off mix of bright sun and white clouds, and grey drizzle and black sky.    I brought my umbrella this time and saved myself from the rain.    Reserved my spot in the gallery from 1 – 3.   Each ticket allows exactly two hours inside.   It is a perfect way to see a museum as the crowds are kept to a minimum and you can really reflect. 

I left my flat early so I could spend some time wandering around the park.   I knew the signage wasn’t great and I didn’t have a map, so allowed a buffer for getting lost.   Needed it too.   A perfect morning walking up and down paths and breathing in the fresh air.  I revisited the fountain I was at when Pierre passed and felt his spirit there.    A special morning.

At 12:45, I turned in my bag (no cameras or really, anything allowed in side) and took my place in line.  I had no idea what to expect as I had not done any preliminary research.     When they allowed us in, I was blown away by the magnitude and beauty of this gallery.   It is ornate and yet airy.    Words will not be able to adequately describe and since I couldn’t take pictures, just trust me on this.

The bottom floor houses the gallery’s sculpture.    Each room has a Bernini centerpiece surrounded by smaller sculptures and paintings.    

I fell completely in love with two.   I will let them speak for themselves and then highly encourage you to visit the gallery if you have some time in Rome. 

This last view from the Rape of Proserpina is what got me.   How is this even possible?   Technical and emotional genius. 

I also visited the pinotecca while in the gallery, but, I have to say, I left my heart with Bernini.   It was honestly kind of a draining experience.   In a good way.

As I left the gallery, the sun was still coming in and out.   I wandered around for another hour or two, photographing the wonderful fountains and amazing display of clouds that were rapidly transforming throughout the day.

It was truly a great afternoon in the park.      Exactly what I needed with an added bonus of an unexpected new love for sculpture.    

On a much lighter note, the title of this post reminds me of 'Weekend at Bernie's'.   Sad.  With that, I'll leave you some giggle worthy, juvenile humor, sculpture.   Not quite on par with my newest obsession, but there is room for it all. 

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