During the Renaissance, art, design, poetry, architecture, and philosophy rapidly coalesced into new forms of cultural expression, a three dimensional dialogue encapsulated in the city Florence.
Florence: Carved out of stone and dreams
"The pursuit of fashioning and elevating culture, inspired generations of innovators who changed the world forever."
During the Renaissance, art, design, poetry, architecture, and philosophy rapidly coalesced into new forms of cultural expression, a three dimensional dialogue encapsulated in the city of Florence. Competition was pervasive, leading to creations designed to inspire and impress rivals, patrons and the public. The pursuit of fashioning and elevating culture, inspired generations of innovators who changed the world forever.
The innovation of the Renaissance era, pushed thinkers and artists, to go beyond what was possible. To combine disciplines, discover new inventions, to seek truth in science and the arts. Masters worked on lifelong pursuits, learning skills and crafts over years of study, and elevating works, eclipsing levels of achievement. The pursuit of knowledge and transcendence, plateauing and transcending levels if achievement and phenomenology. Mentorship with master teachers were tight knit relationships, from childhood at times, where skills and craft was passed on. Experience and hours of practice and effort over long periods of time, gave people the space and time to think deeper and make better work.
Cultural investigation is evident in the macro and micro of the city of Florence, from the facades you walk by, to the cobblestone streets thousands of visitors and locals tread upon each year. The devil is in the details, of the golden door of the Baptistry, Michelangelo’s David, the cascading steps of the Laurentian Library, each room painted by Fra Angelico at the San Marco monastery, and of course the Duomo of Santa Maria del Fiore.
Florence is the total work, a city, with layers upon layers of design and art, proof of the believe in something which you cannot see, which has not been made, which is only fabricated in your mind, with your own hands, or by your entire community. The investigation into the unknown, to the narrative and folklore surrounding it, may be best exhibited through stories about these great makers.
Leonardo da Vinci
The air in Florence full of tourists, elegance, retail and large cones of gelato, suggests a dignified, and at ease elegance. Florence, as a phenomenological experience, looks effortless, in repose. Stepping back in time, we uncover the dramatic and ruthless competition and rivalry, where blood was spilled, families feuded, and people risked everything to continue creating. The Florence of today was build with the funding of patrons, the ego and prowess of genius, and the literal blood, sweat and tears of ruthless competition. Each street, passageway and entrance, was political territory. The picturesque we know, was full of drama and crime, fighting, and bloodbath. Secret passage ways across the river, transported Medici families across to safety, unless, they were caught and killed unexpectedly. The nazi's, while destroying much of Florence, London and other cities with bomb raids, could not wholeheartedly damage the Ponte Vecchio.
Visiting Florence today, the drama of the past is alive in your experience, as you traverse the grounds of both patron and master. We see our visits to Italy as pilgrimages, contemporary Grand Tours, for mindful and lasting inquiry into the past and into our own consciousness.