|'Sibilla' by Guido Reni (1635)|
"First, there is the eye factor. A visitor who photographs van Gogh's "Starry Night" echoes the basic mission of visual art: to celebrate the act of looking. When you gaze through a lens, you are likely to consider the world more deeply. You frame space and take note of composition, the curve of a line, the play of light and shadow. As the photographer Dorothea Lange noted, "The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." As an aid to art education, smartphone cameras are preferable to older devices. For art-history students, iPhone photographs are an earnest reference aid. For everyone else, digital photographs work in much the same way as art postcards did in their heyday a half-century ago..."When I visited the Bologna Pinoteca (Picture Gallery) - which does freely allow photographs - I spent my time not only seeking out the masterworks, trying to decipher the allegorical and religious references, reading the informative name cards, and taking lots of photos. I also - believe it or not - looked intently at the paintings. Of course, all the aforementioned activities are part and parcel of visiting a gallery and really enjoying the scenery - except perhaps photographing, which is not always permitted.
|Mauro Gandolfi, Self-Portrait 1785|
|Lavinia Fontana, 'La Famiglia Gozzadini' (detail) 1583|
|Giorgio Vasari 'Christ in the House of Martha and Mary' (detail) 1540|
|Prospero Fontana 'Adoration of the Magi' (detail) (c1569)|
I was noticing the face of the Madonna in the Bologna Pinoteca, taking photos here and there to remember. Then I found the Giotto. Whoa. Those eyes from 1330 looking right back at me.
|Pietro di Giovanni Lianori (1453)|
|Francesco Raibolini detto il Francia (1500)|
|Francesco Raibolini detto il Francia (1498/9)|