I was first introduced to Domenico Ghirlandaio by Fr. Murphy. Art history in college. This Franciscan priest (R.I.P. Fr. John) made me want to learn, as have others, don’t be jealous Fr. Cap.
Slides were not enough. When I walked up the mountain from Sta. Croce to San Miniato al Monte I saw the chapel. I can’t really see it right now because the glare is bad even through shades but just google Ghirlandiao.
Please do take the time to see Sta. Croce and the Pazzi Chapel, then cross the bridge behind it and make the walk. Stop at the church halfway up and give some money to the lady who takes care of the feral cats there. Make sure she knows the money is for the gatti, or cats, otherwise she’ll be insulted as if you called her a beggar. She used to bring them great trays of pasta from a local restaurant.
Then I went to cooking school in Tuscany for my birthday one year and went to San Gimignano for an afternoon. 18 of us were on a custom bus and we had one hour to see the town. Two of us ran 20 minutes to Sta. Fina, with earlier Ghirlandiao fresci. Spent 20 minutes there then ran back and made it just in time.
If you don’t have the resources for an art tour of Italy right now (I don’t) please check out Tea With Mussolini, a film with Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Joan Plowright, and Cher. If you’ve been to Florence or San Gimignano you may even recognize the streets as it was filmed beautifully. Yes, Cher, and brilliant as a newly rich American with a heart of gold.
Take care and think about how art changes lives. Then remember that art was all people had before Guttenberg and reading. Think of your reading skills and your children’s and have them appreciate art as well. There is a reason for all those religious stories in painting and sculpture, no matter what religion you follow of if you follow none at all.
I started with my nephew at age nine and tried two different lessons: Medieval vs Renaissance and the lesson was perspective and realism; and ancient vs modern, Renaissance as opposed to Liechtenstein or Tara Donovan clouds with drinking straws.
All he said to his dad later that evening, after seeing a Gaston Lachaise nude with huge breasts. was that it “was not entirely age-appropriate.” And I kept him out of the room with French nude paintings. Oh, well. I tried. Please do so! Dee