Tuesday, July 11, 2017

T Stands For Botticelli

Art accessories for my outfit. A Starry Night scarf with a matching bangle bracelet. I couldn't decide whether to wear the matching Starry Night socks or the Botticelli Venus. So I wore one of each.
My friend, Nan, (formerly A.) mentioned during our Skype session if I would like to go to the MFA to see the Botticelli exhibit. I told her if we were going to see the exhibit, it would have to be soon as the exhibit was closing on July 9, 2017. We made plans to meet in town (Boston) on Friday. The Commuter Rail which I was taking and the Orange Line on the T (subway line) crossed at Back Bay Station in the Copley Square area of the city. Across the street is Copley Place, an upscale mall. We arranged to meet in the Au Bon Pain, a cafe around 9 AM. We could sit and chat before walking to the Copley subway station to catch a trolley to the museum. The MFA opens at 10 AM.

Waiting for the E Line - Heath St. trolley at Copley Station

Waiting for the MFA doors to open
Botticelli. This way.
According to the PBS production Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance, "Botticelli" was a nickname given to Sandro by an older brother who raised him. Botticelli means "Little Barrel" Alessandro Filipepi, must have been chubby as a little fellow. I think it's cute, and the nickname stuck.

Virgin and Child, Filippo Lippi,


Botticelli apprenticed under Filippo Lippi. I wonder if the clam shell in Botticelli's famous painting of The Birth of Venus was inspired by the shell surrounding Mary and her child.



Paintings by other contemporary artists were also on exhibit.



The exhibit was crowded so it was hard to get close enough to take pictures. Waiting for the crowds to move away, was worth the wait. Here she is, Venus. Just beautiful.


 The exhibit was subtitled The Search for the Divine. In his early works, Botticelli painted stories from classical mythology.



A shift in his art occurred after he heard fiery sermons by Friar Savonarola. Botticelli's artistic subject became more religious especially after the death of his patron, Lorenzo de Medici. I don't doubt the artist's piety, but I wonder if the shift was also due to "go along to get along" and paid.

I saw a movie about King Arthur starring Julianna Margulies. Margulies played Arthur's half sister, Morgana. She followed the old pagan ways and tried not to get swept up in the new religious fervor. At the end of the movie, Morgana is looking at a statue of the Virgin Mary. The thought occurs to her that she does not have to abandon her worship of the Goddess, earth mother. She sees Mary as the Goddess, just a different way of looking at her.

I wonder if some of that figured into Botticelli's later works.




As Game of Thrones followers, Nan pointed out that Lorenzo's death mask looked like it was right out of the House of Black and White in Braavos.
Death Mask of Lorenzo de Medici
attributed to Benintendi and Sogliani


By this time it was lunchtime, but there were long lines at the museums 4 restaurants. We decided to brave the crowds viewing the Matisse exhibit. I'll save those for next week. We were also thinking of going over to the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum as it was Free Friday and admission to the Gardner was free. By this time it was pouring buckets, and the Gardner was closing early at 5 PM. We decided to save the Gardner for another outing.

By 2 PM, there was still a line at the American Cafe just as we were about to get in line, one of the wait staff put up a closed sign behind the last people in line. If only we had been 5 minutes earlier. We were worried that all the restaurants would be closing, but only this one as there was a museum function coming in.

We decided we would try Bravo, a fancy restaurant. We were on an outing so we were going to treat ourselves. As we neared Bravo, it seemed promising as there were several empty tables. The host informed us we needed a reservation and they were booked.

There was a cafeteria in the basement, but just not suitable for a special outing. There was still a long line for another cafe that offered beer, wine, salads, and Sandwich 1 and Sandwich 2. The sandwich offerings were a pulled chicken and a veggie offering. Nothing to write home about.

Nan mentioned the Flour Bakery near Back Bay Station (where we needed to catch our trains). She said her daughter who worked nearby raved about the sandwiches. So we opted for amazing sandwiches rather than ho-hum, and we weren't disappointed.


I had applewood-smoked bacon, arugula, tomato, mayo, balsamic vinaigrette, on toasted focaccia with iced tea with lemon. Nan had smoked turkey, zucchini relish, arugula, aged cheddar, mayo, on toasted multigrain. I think her beverage was a Morrocan mint iced tea.


Drop by hosts, Bleubeard and Elizabeth's blog to find out what the rest of the T Stands For gang is up to. If you want to play, include in your Tuesday post a beverage or container for a beverage. Don't forget to link your blog to Bleubeard and Elizabeth's page.

32 comments:

  1. Oh, what a wonderful trip you had, Botticelli is fantastic, I would have liked to have seen that show, too. Happy T Day, hugs Valerie

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    1. The Boticellis were on loan and the exhibit closed on July 9. I don't know where Venus will be exhibited next.

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  2. Such a fun day and awesome company! Looking forward to the Gardner next and dessert at Flour! Happy t day๐Ÿฑ๐Ÿ˜˜

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    1. Can't wait. Hopefully, we'll pick a day where it's not pouring buckets.

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  3. I would have loved to see the Boticelli art especially-lucky you! Wish it would have come to my area. I love that you dressed for the occasion in your artsy wearables-what fun. And your sandwiches look divine! Happy T day!

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    1. Lucky indeed. I've looked to see where Venus goes next, but haven't been able to find anything online. I have 6 pair of fine art socks. Too fun!

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  4. Is that where the Flour bakery is? I've heard of it but have never been there. I think you enjoyed the Boticelli. It was amazing, wasn't it? You just got there under the wire too. When we went in April it was also quite crowded so I don't know if there was ever a good time to go. Great post for T day and it looks like you had a wonderful day out. :) Happy T day. hugs-Erika

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    1. We were pretty close to missing it trying to coordinate schedules. So glad it worked out.

      Flour Bakery is located at 131 Clarendon St. Just around the block from Back Bay Station.

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  5. What a wonderful outing! The art is magnificent!

    I can't but wish we had decent public transportation here. Oh, for a subway system! -or even a bus system that was usable lol-

    Happy T Tuesday :)

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    1. Taking the T (subway) and the commuter rail is the only way to get into Boston. Roads into the city are constantly under construction and are jammed with commuters. Parking is hard to find and horrofically expensive. The T is the only way to go.

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  6. I love Botticelli and it looks like you had a wonderful time with your friend ๐Ÿ˜€. His paintings have a beautiful grace and elegance about them, I really enjoyed looking round the exhibition with you, thanks for sharing. Great sandwiches and drink choices too, so yummy! Wishing you a very Happy T Day! J ๐Ÿ˜Š

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    1. We had a wonderful day. The paintings were breath-taking.

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  7. Here I was seeing the post title, then seeing the first photo, thinking, CJ these are NOT by Botticelli. Then I read further, still quite confused. Was I the only one who thought you mixed Botticelli with Van Gogh? Guess so, because as I read further, I got it. Must have been a perfect outing for you and Nan. You certainly dressed the part, at least.

    I've always loved Botticelli and his art is incredible. His nudes seem to float into your vision. I'm so glad you shared these with us, although I was surprised you were allowed to photograph them, since they were on loan.

    It's frustrating when you plan for a lovely meal, only to learn the restaurant is closed. But it was certainly fun to see your 3rd or 4th choice because it looked like fun sandwiches and tea. Thanks for sharing this outing, along with your sandwiches and iced tea with us for T this Tuesday.

    And just to inform you, Photobucket has nothing to do with your BLOG photos that you post, only photos you use for buttons, like on your sidebars. The ones that are used to take you to other sites, or ones you use to take you to another page on your blog.

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    1. Guess we both misread part of each other's post.

      The paintings were stunning. I was surprised photos were allowed. People were snapping photos left, right, and center. Security was walking among the crowds, no one said anything and there weren't signs prohibiting photos .

      It's good that there were other food choices available.

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  8. Wow! just Wow! Thank you for letting me live vicariously through you CJ! What a great trip... You made me think of our trip to the Louvre years ago... We were on a short excursion to Paris and literally almost had to run thru the museum to see the things we wanted to see... There were so many people... We saw the Mona Lisa from afar.. did not even attempt to get close... Venus de Milo , Whistler's Mother.... I would love to go back and tack a leisurely tour.. Happy happy T day! Hugs! deb

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    1. It's always surprising to see paintings live. I was surprised to learn the Mona Lisa is a small painting (have never visited the Louvre) and equally surprised to see that Venus was life-sized.

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  9. I didn't know that Botticelli was a nickname. What a cute story, CJ. You saw THE Venus? I'm green with envy.

    What an odyssey you had to find a decent meal. I'm glad it worked out in the end ;-)

    Happy T-Day! Hugs, Eileen

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    1. I didn't know Botticelli was his nickname. Found it while hunting around for some facts by him. We didn't see THE Venus. The Birth of Venus, we sa A Venus, another he had painted about the same time.

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  10. I so love Boticelli's art - a fantastic post! Happy T-Day!

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  11. I'm jealous! For both the exhibit AND the lunch! ;)

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    1. Come North. Lots of museums and places to lunch

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  12. It looks a wonderful exhibition to visit.
    I liked your delicious looking sandwich as well.
    Happy T day
    Yvonne xx

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  13. Love the bookstore at the MFA --

    I hope you used your WAM Badge to get you guys into the museum for free. One of the few perks working at a museum offers.

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  14. What a beautiful exhibition! I don't think I've ever seen a real Bitticelli, unless I saw some in Florence years ago and don't particularly remember that. In Florence one can suffer from art overkill at some stage....
    Happy (belated) T-Day,
    Lisca

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  15. What a great day! I would have love to see that exhibit!!!

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  16. What a fabulous exhibition! was lucky enough to see some of Botticelli's art in Italy a few years ago! Shame about the museum food but looks as though you came up with a winner! Belated Happy T Day for last week - internet connection was dreadful at our caravan! Chrisx

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