palazzo pitti and giardini di boboli, firenze.
i was really excited to visit the pitti palace which is situated in the vast boboli gardens. i learned about buontalenti’s grotto in italian art class. it’s a little cave created to give an illusion of life below the surface of the earth.
the pitti palace houses several art galleries. we visited the palatine gallery full of italian renaissance art. it was surreal to see raphael’s madnonna della seggiola, which i studied in class.
i anxiously awaited viewing raphael’s portrait of maddalena doni, because i wrote about this painting in my paper titled “the female body in sixteenth-century italian paintings: clothes, fashion, and nudity”. i discussed how depicting her luxurious clothing was necessary to clearly identify her as a merchant’s wife.
my favorite part of this venue was the costume gallery. it was fascinating to see old italian dresses juxtaposed with current designers’ (roberto cavalli, elsa schiaparelli, emilio pucci, etc.) clothing that evoke a similar look or inspiration.