For the Love of Art: Italy and Paris


“A beautiful thing never gives so much pain as does failing to hear and see it.”  Michelangelo Buonarroti


After a week in Florence, gazing upon so much fabulous Renaissance art and architecture, my eyes were beginning to ache with the beauty of it all. Seriously, they really were.

Even if you fight against it, there is a point where it becomes easy to slide into a sort of nonchalance if your days are literally saturated with something you love this much…


“Oh, it’s another Michelangelo / Botticelli / da Vinci…meh!”


Florence: Courtyard at Palazzo Vecchio. (All photographs by Cherina Hadley)


Alright, maybe not quite that nonchalant, but it’s easy to start to crumble a little under this art / culture overload. Yes, travelling is really quite tough, it’s true.


I feel this same way each time I visit Paris. My theory is that if I deliberately limit the trip to around a week I will still get out while the going is good; while still elated by the excitement, but before the novelty begins to fade.


I adore art. I often wish I had studied art history. Not instead of photography but maybe alongside it, so I could have even a glimpse of how this all comes together.


Leonardo da Vinci: ‘The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne’


As a photographer I understand that innate need to create something: a representation that says something about you, about the way you view the world and about how you would love others to possibly consider it too.


But art on this kind of scale never fails to knock the wind out of me. It makes me feel like what I do is so insignificant.


Places like the Louvre in Paris or the Ufizzi Gallery in Florence are so overwhelmingly that I want to stop in the middle of the room, close my eyes and try desperately to actually take it all in; to remember.


(There are usually hordes of people in these places and you risk certain death-by-trampling if you actually attempt this. I’m not kidding, don’t say I didn’t warn you! It could make for a pretty remarkable epitaph though…I’m just saying…)


Antonio Canova: 'Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss'

Antonio Canova: ‘Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss’


The last time I was in the Louvre I lost my ticket whilst inside the temporary exhibition of the Italian Masters, set apart from the main gallery. Yes, yes – I could think of worse places to be trapped too.


Two of the guards frantically tried to help me find my ticket whereas I was all, “Oh, you know what, no worries. I might just hang out with the Italian Masters a little while longer.”

As you do…


(Can I just say though…for god’s sake, who loses their ticket at the Louvre – before they have even gone inside?!)


Florence: Ponte Vecchio

Florence: Ponte Vecchio


So as I strolled through Florence on my last day I noticed that my level of wonderment was not making my heart race quite as much as it did a week ago. There were still palpitations mind you, just not as crippling. (Italian coffee has a lot to answer for!)


It must be time to move on.


Thankfully, I am heading to a travel blogging conference in the wild and beautiful region of Umbria in central Italy, which will include an art and history (and wine…well, obviously) tour next week.


And so it all begins again….


Inside the Ufizzi Gallery in Florence

Florence: Ufizzi Gallery


PS: Ticket was never found and the aforementioned guards sneaked me into the Louvre proper. It’s a good day when you get escorted ninja-style into one of the most prestigious galleries in the world.

I did slip over and break a rib the following day though…karma? Perhaps  😉



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Comments (5)
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    Melissa May 2 2012 - 7:26 am Reply

    Beautiful photos Cherina and I completely understand what you mean! I remember becoming ‘basilica’d out’ while in Italy and then feeling guilty!

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    Tom Feb 18 2014 - 7:18 pm Reply

    I think a lot of the problem is with the amount of other people milling around these great art works, all barging for a better view. I found that if i knew specific pieces before seeing them, the excitement was far greater, where as looking as lots of random Renaissance stuff again and again can be draining!

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    Marah Howles Oct 9 2014 - 4:24 pm Reply

    How I wish to travel to Paris! Your pics just even more motivate me to set out. I want to actually see their arts.. amazing!

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    Trish Mendoza Feb 18 2015 - 4:27 pm Reply

    Italy and Paris are great source of art inspiration. I admire how they put things together and manage to look classy and elegant.

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