Visiting the Accademia Gallery

Hello All,

Anna here again with another amazing day in Florence, Italy. Before I get started I want to give you a quick update on my Apparel design class. I am taking the class with two other students from IUE, Kady and Gwen. The past week we have been taking the garment we design last week and have begun to make them a reality. I am making a sleeveless white shirt with a wide boat neck and a pair of shorts. Gwen is making a lovely light blue sundress and accessorising with a belt, and Kady is being a real trooper and has tackled the intimidating project of a coat. All our projects are going amazingly and we are learning new skills left and right.

Today was an important day both within this trip and in my life. During the spring semester I studied the works of many artists from the pre-Renaissance, Renaissance, and Mannerist connected with Florence and the first week and a half of this trip I saw those works in person. However, this afternoon I saw the essence of Florence’s personality embodied in one of the greatest statues ever created. I saw Michelangelo’s David! It was an incredible experience to see such a significant work of art and to see it surrounded by dozens of other works of art was truly amazing.

Michelangelo’s David is kept at the Accademia Museum, which was founded in 1784 by the Grand Duke Peter Leopold of Lorraine. It was used as a teaching space for students who were studying at the Academy of Fine Arts. It was originally located in the attic rooms of the Convent of Saint Niccolo’ of Cafaggio and the Hospital of Saint Matthew but has expanded over the years to accommodate more exhibits. For example, Michelangelo’s David was brought to the Accademia Gallery from the Piazza della Signoria in 1873. As a result of the transfer, architect Emilio de Fabris designed ajn incredible skylight overtop David. It was completed in 1882. Art in Florence would not be complete without a tribute to the Medici family. Inside Accademia is a huge collection from the Cherubini Conservatory, including all sorts of musical instruments. This collection shows the unparalleled enthusiasm of the Medici family for the arts. Along with the instruments from the Cherubini Conservatory, Accademia houses panel paintings from the mid-13th century all the way to the late 16th century. The panel paintings are all done by major artists who worked in or around Florence during those years. The latest addition to the Accademia Gallery is the Hall of the Colossus. It opened in December of 2013 and has works of art all the way from the 15th to 21st century.

Kady, Gwen, and I are having so much fun sewing together and laughing at our mistakes, which are inevitable but provide great times to build friendship with each other and the other students in Apparel Design. Fun is definitely not reserved for class however! We also shared some trail mix later in the day, which Gwen very accurately referred to as “bird seed.”:). I cannot believe that it has already been a week and a half since we first met each other and started our study abroad experience!

Best wishes from Florence,


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