Plan 1

Wednesday, December 1st, 2004 | 40th Birthday, Art, Friends, Travel

I’ve decided on a tentative plan: For my 40th birthday (November, 2005), I’m going to start off with a few weeks in Rome. My last few trips there were about Caravaggio and Bellini, so I’d like to visit my old friends, but this time I’m thinking of following the della Francesca and Perugino trails, which will take me to Urbino, Arezzo, Perugia, Monterchi, Sansepolcro, Citta del Pieve, Spello and Panicale. Caravaggio and Bellini were big inspirations to me in my 30’s: Bellini with his exquisitely painted depictions of other-worldliness, and Caravaggio for his images so rooted in reality. The artists shocked me into an awareness of how art can structure experience and spirituality in such completely different ways. I’m drawn to Perugino and della Francesca for their serenity and simplicity. This is how I want to enter my 40’s–I want tranquility. There’s also a painting in a tiny convent in Florence that I’d love to revisit, by Perugino. It’s a crucifiction scene, but almost conceptual art. The cross is positioned in the center of 3 arches, with saints depicted under the flanking arches. The beams of the cross touch the edge of the arch, both on the sides and on the bottom, bringing the crucifix into our world, touching the frame of our space, but having nothing to do with where it should be accurately positioned visually. So perhaps a few weeks in Rome, and then spend a week working my way up to Florence and Arrezo, and then back to Rome for the final bacchanalia.

40 is a big deal for me. So excuse my ruminating on the subject of what to do for it so much and so far in advance.

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