I joined a group of Florentines today on a tour which examined the works of five Renaissance artists who left their mark in the Land of Arezzo. The tour is one of many sponsored by the initiative "Rinascimento in Terra d'Arezzo" exploring some of the lesser frequented "Little Big Museums" outside the city of Florence. The program, promoted to the Florentine community by a Florentine cultural arts foundation, offers gratis day trip tours via motorcoach, skilfully guided by a master Renaissance art expert.
I heard some reviews from local friends and it sounded like a unique oppotunity to examine a very select sample of masterpieces of Filippo Lippi, Beato Angelico, Luca Signorelli, Bartolomeo della Gatta and Lorenzo de Credi within the context of their original settings.
The tour took us to Arezzo, Cortona and Castiglion Fiorentino, where we spent a short but concise amount of time in each of a few museums. I found it to be an effective way of avoiding "Stendhal Syndrome" because it was focused, clear and expertly guided by a passionate, animated scholar. Calling it a "tour" is a misnomer. It was rather a scholastic expedition among a group of well-heeled Florentine art afficionados.
The highlight of my day was the mind-blowing "gift" that I received at the end of the tour. While we were in "Collegiata e Museo della Pieve di San Giuliano" in Castiglion Fiorentino, my eyes caught sight of a painting that I knew from my distant past, but never knew where it came from, or who the artist was.
Pictured above, is the painting, "L'Adorazione" by Lorenzo de Credi. It was the very image from a holy card that I cherished as a kid for many years, and used as a bookmark. The image disappeared from my memory until I saw it today, connecting yet another link between my past and my present life that was simply meant to be in Florence.