Sunday, February 23, 2014

Gianfranco Mello....capturing Firenze light

Gianfranco understands Firenze light. He has captured it successfully for years from his home terrace in Florence, Italy.

Walking into his studio on Borgo Pinti, you are transported into his world...paintings hang on every available space and lean on the walls,  vintage woven wool rugs cover the floors and just enough period furniture made me think of Gertrude Stein's atelier. It was no surprise that opera music flowed through the high vaulted ceilings.

He never tires of capturing the light on the Duomo which is easily painted from his terrace. If these images seem blurry, it is due to the fact he works with a mixed technique on canvas. To see one in person is a privilege. The layers  are grainy and textural against the canvas. His colors are vibrant and he understands encaustic and paint in a way I never knew was possible.

I first visited his studio three years ago but did not meet the artist until this trip. I took Lynne Rutter to see his work and we were both surprised to be there when he was in the studio. It is moments such as this that draw me back again and again to wander the streets of Florence and discover another layer it has to offer.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Sweet Smell of History...

Step off via della Scala into the perfumed world of the Officina Profumo Farmaceutica . Florence is full of many treasures waiting to be discovered and this is certainly one of them.

Over 400 years old, this pharmacy has operated, first serving the needs of the monastery and later, the world. Herbs and potions made by Dominican Friars and backed by the Medici family were the basis of the business.

Creams, lotions, soaps and perfumes are viewed through glass cases. I choose to see the soaps. A wooden tray is brought out with all scents represented. You may touch the samples and smell the scents.

Once a decision is made, your purchase is transferred to a plastic card that you take to another room to pay for and receive.

Even if you are not shopping, the building is worth visiting to see the virtual explosion of decorative ornament.

Five rooms are open to the public -Antica Spezieria, Sala Vendita(sales room), Sala Verde(Green room), Sacrestia(Sacristy) and the Museo. 

Take time to visit this historical building while visiting Firenze!
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