In Florence, art is everywhere you look. There are world renowned museums such as the Uffizi Gallery, the Accademia, the Bargello, the Bardini, the Palazzo Vecchio…like 72 museums. Then there are the churches, grand cathedrals to small neighborhood churches, that contain incredible Renaissance art by Italian masters. In nearly every piazza there are statues commemorating historical events or wealthy donors.

If that wasn’t enough, there are also guys that make-believe they are statues.

Photographing in museums

I love to photograph visitors interacting with pieces of art. They are usually so engaged with the art, they don’t notice me with my camera. The intensity of studying a piece of art, the human body contrasting with marble, the funny juxtaposition of a small child and a giant sculpture make for great photographs.

On the left, a bored museum guard guards a ancient sarcophagus at the Uffizi Gallery.  On the right, the unexpected gesture contrasts against a wall of architectural statues at the Bargello Museum.

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The invasion of the cellphone camera intrigued me. I couldn’t figure out why anyone would spend their precious time in front of Botticelli’s iconic Venus taking a lousy photograph with their phone, instead of admiring the surprising details of the original painting. I guess it is to prove they were there. They may have only glanced at the 9 foot wide masterpiece, but they can always look at it later on their 3 inch screen.


Phil Cantor, Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy

Photograph by Philip Wolmuth in the Uffizi Gallery