I Need to See Improvements

Thursday 24th October 2019

We went to Urbino after 20 years. Raphael’s House – loved the heavy wooden ceilings, white walls and streaming tiled floors. The arrangement of the house slightly skew, allowing surprise outdoor cloisters; essentially an enclosed house but with light cutting in at dramatic angles. The textures the best thing – plaster, wood and tiles. Very satisfying. And old.

Then after a simple lunch –  the Ducal Palace. The courtyard one of the glories of the world surely, although not by a big-name architect. Without the Palace is a massive medieval-type ruthless fortification. Within the courtyard must have astonished in its day, the colour of strawberry fool, the living geometry of the arcades and the huge mass of the palace above cleverly stepped back so as not to weigh down. The art museum the palace contains though – oh dear! Room upon room of dirty boiling primis, and later works, absolutely no apology, really screaming, Don’t bother to look at these. So great build-up to the grande opera del Museo. I’d completely forgotten that the Flag of Christ by Piero was there. But utter horror, it’s been taken out of its frame, put into the grip of intrusive steels claws which hold it up for view and encased in glass. Also surrounded by a huge display explaining all the different interpretations of the work. So just reduced to nothing more than a scientific specimen really. Similar treatment for their Raphael, La Muta – although at the National Portrait Gallery event on Monday I was informed by Cousin Lancing, who is huge at Christie’s, that the Urbino Raphael is questionable as a Raphael.

I’d like to see these provincial museums making more effort to engage visitors with the less well-known works. Otherwise nobody will ever look at them and what is the point?  In the end, they’ll just be thrown away. And then, in the opposite direction, don’t overdo it with your opera famosa. Let them speak for themselves

The day before we went to San Marino because we’d never been there. Strange: you could tell somehow that it wasn’t Italy. Not just the joke policepersons in tangerine and blue. All these toy places, such as Monaco, have joke policepersons. Nor the special number plates. San Marino is really just a high-up small city, perched on a rock. You can see why it remained independent. So it’s all very miniature and just a bit silly, but there’s this undertow of huge amounts of tax-free money, summed up by the number of young men in business suits prancing about in what otherwise appears to be a resort and the sublime international princess waitress at luncheon – skinny jeans, bronzer, nails, hair and cleavage. Quite useless as a waitress but no doubt essential for the glamour side of the tax-free money.

We crawled about the ancient fortifications before going back to the hotel at Pesaro.

Raphael's Dining Room at Urbino

Raphael’s Dining Room at Urbino

Raphael's Drawing Room with Wooden Ceiling

Raphael’s Drawing Room with Wooden Ceiling

Unbearable Greatness: the Courtyard the Ducal Palace at Urbino

Unbearable Greatness: the Courtyard the Ducal Palace at Urbino

Pillar Work at Urbino Ducal Palace Urbino

Pillar Work at Urbino Ducal Palace Urbino

Horror! The Flag Imprisoned in a Box

Horror! The Flag Imprisoned in a Box

La Muta by Raphael (??) Also Horrid Display

La Muta by Raphael (??) Also Horrid Display

The Staircase of the Palazzo Ducale at Urbino. This was how Stairs were Done before Cantilevering

The Staircase of the Palazzo Ducale at Urbino. This was how Stairs were Done before Cantilevering

The Inlay Work in the Duke's Study: Heaven

The Inlay Work in the Duke’s Study: Heaven

San Marino: Blue and Tangerine Policeman

San Marino: Blue and Tangerine Policeman

More San Marino Police

More San Marino Police

San Marino: the Fortifications

San Marino: the Fortifications

 

 

Posted Thursday, October 24, 2019 under Adrian Edge day by day.

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