Umbria, Italy is a beautiful region to live in and I would like to share my recent visit to the Museo San Francesco in Montefalco decorated with Benozzo Gozzoli’s frescos where you can see the delicate and elaborate technique which this early renaissance master had. He possessed an incredible sense of color, the walls feel like a tapestry and his paintings are decorative at the same time.
Different subjects are put next to each other. In our modern age, we no longer have that impression of 6 different subjects being put together. This is what is amazing about the medieval, people could look at an entire wall and read it as a book.
What is interesting is that you can look at these murals and study the Genesis just by looking at the paintings. We just don’t have this feeling/impression these days. In contemporary museums, we have fragments of history and rarely get to experience the entire Genesis just as medieval people would have experienced it.
Here, the entire decoration (floors, walls, ceilings) come together representing the entire universe. The floors have a symbolic decorative presence. As your eyes move upwards we see the human and animal realm, afterwards there is the divine presence on the vaulted ceiling. Nowadays, it’s rare to experience this unity of the entire genesis.
Even though we live in a visual age, surrounded by the possibility of making images, taking photographs, sharing videos, we don’t have the opportunity of coming into contact where space and images read as a unified work of art.
Visit Umbria on your next trip to Italy, and come experience this unique museum.
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