Saturday, April 28, 2007

... and didn't sketch a thing!


River Arno - Florence

Yesterday I went to Florence and didn't sketch a thing! My stated mission was sketching - so what happened? My two friends, J&J happened! J&J means SHOPPING! While J1 has a degree in shopping, J2 leads route marches through the back streets and designer boutiques of Florence - estimated speed? *#@* fast! I can't walk today. I was wearing my sketching shoes.

That is not to say I didn't enjoy myself J2 and thank you, J1, that was a wonderful lunch and I will never forget our visit to the Santa Maria Novella Officina Profumo Farmaceutica.


Fortunately J1 had a hat to protect her from the radiance of the chandeliers while she sniffed potpourri.

As you can see, this is no ordinary pharmacy. The tradition began around 1500 with Dominican Friars providing perfumes for Catherine de' Medici. The business was founded in 1612. Today, using formulas studied from 1500, it still produces perfumes, soaps and herbal elixirs. It is headquartered in the most beautiful old building not far from its namesake church.

I fell in love with the wallpaper which looks like it was badly damaged 40 years ago when the River Arno broke its banks in a flood that devastated Florence.

Wallpaper detail.


I could happily have spent hours exploring the many rooms and antiques of this beautiful shop. I could also have sketched here if I hadn't been lured on by the scent of shopping!

Even though I no longer consider myself a Shopper, I was morally obliged to buy a pair of MaxMara pants. One must support the shop that has had an artist in residence for the past three years restoring its beautiful frescoes .

Just a portion of the MaxMara frescoes.

J2 (a very successful artist when she isn't striding it out) also introduced me to a wonderful art shop, Phase, which supplies the army of restorers constantly at work in Florence. Unfortunately, by the time I limped up to the entrance, it was closed but I will return on my next sketching trip.

J2 takes a breather waiting for my favourite art shop to open.

Fortunately Zecchi opened after lunch and I was able to satisfy my desire for 'essential' art supplies.

And so I limped happily home after a day of not sketching in Florence.


13 comments:

Joan said...

Your shopping excursion story is wonderful! I was sitting here laughing. It sounds like when I used to go shopping with friends to the "outlets" for bargains. I love the fact that you had pictures to go with everything you mentioned in Florence. I'll forgive you for not sketching this time. Ciao!

Robyn said...

Thanks Joan - I forgot to mention, through all this, I had my sketching kit complete with stool, strapped to my back. The metal frame announced my arrival as I got caught up and crashed through boutique doors. The stool did come in handy when my feet could no longer take any more punishment and I managed to buy a pair of cotton socks. I sat on my stool, in full view on the pavement, to take off my shoes and stockings in order to put them on. Makes sketching in public seem like a minor accomplishment!

mARTa said...

Well Robyn, if you ever want to not go sketching in Florence I will be there for 3 days in October and would love to go non sketching with you!!! I alredy have a sketchcrawl in the works with Casey and Ronelle in France when I travel to Europe in October! I must visit your favorite art shop too!

Robyn said...

Great Marta! We'll make a date.

Anonymous said...

Great to hear about your trip to Firenze Robin. Jim and I are staying in Fiesole from Wednesday to Saturday this week and will then be heading south. We'll call you when we get to Fiesole and hope to see you at the weekend. Loved the pictures and can't wait to see the Max Mara pants. Philippa

Robyn said...

Philippa & Jim - Very much looking forward to seeing you!

aPugsLife-laserone said...

OH my gosh what a fantastic adventure! Thanks so much for sharing, love the photos. :)

Laureline said...

Robyn, you always make me laugh---I'm sorry about your poor feet, but it looks as though you had a wonderful day anyway! I love many of the Santa Maria Novella fragrances ( I own 3or 4 of them) and would LOVE to go to the shop itself. You're like the Pied Piper, attracting huge droves to Italy, and I hope to be in their numbers in 2008, after this crazy year of mine winds down!

Robyn said...

Thank you Laserone.

Laura - You must let me take you there in 2008. I thought of you while I was photographing the angel. I knew you would have sketched it, no matter what. There are huge droves of people in Florence already. I hate to think what it will be like mid-season.

Joan said...

I can't believe you had your stool and supplies the whole time you were shopping! It's bad enough to lug all that around when you use it.

Robyn said...

But Joan, I wasn't shopping, I was sketching! I was just slow to start ;)

AnastasiaC said...

thanks for visiting my blog - your blog is wonderful - the pictures so inspiring!! I love Italy...sigh...when will I visit Italy again?!
Siena was my favourite place!!

Robyn said...

Anastasia - Thank you for your great comment. There are some frescoes in Siena I am really keen to see but we never seem to get there, even though it's just a bit over an hour away!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...