To enter the Scrovegni Chapel, you have to spend 15 minutes in a “environmental equilibration” chamber and video introduction before passing through two air locks into the chapel. Shockingly, visitors only get another 15 minutes to look around before being rushed out by security. However, if you are a clever art pilgrim (like yours truly) and book multiple back-to-back tickets, the museum escort chases everyone else out but leaves you alone for a few glorious minutes within the chapel.
Standing at the altar looking down the rows of painted vignettes, the rich pastel colors glowing warmly from the morning sunlight, has got to be one of the most profoundly beautiful art experience I have ever had. To say I loved the Scrovegni Chapel would be an understatement.
Photo of Giotto’s masterpiece, the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua (Photo: Art Bouillon)
You know the cliché about the incredible man or woman who turns heads as they enter the room? Somehow they have a power, beauty or shear presence that cannot be ignored. That’s essentially my experience seeing Jan van Eyck’s The Madonna and Child with Canon van der Paele at the Groeningemuseum in Bruges. As many times as I left the gallery and walked back in, I couldn’t escape it. The painting glowed with a brilliant depth of color and mesmerizing realism. It was a window into some heavenly scene surrounded by dull and simple paintings – which is particularly impressive considering the gallery was filled with works by Hans Memling and even a few small van Eyck’s! This painting is simply a masterpiece.
Jan van Eyck – “The Madonna and Child with Canon van der Paele”