Finding Simonetta at The Städel

The last time I tried to ‘meet’ Simonetta was at Uffizi Museum in Florence last year, but I scrapped the idea because the queue was too long. When I learned that queuing for the ticket is one thing, queuing to get inside is another, I knew I wasn’t meant to meet her. I should’ve bought the ticket online but I was not sure of the date to visit.

You see, I wanted to see her in some of Botticelli’s original paintings, that includes The Birth of Venus and La Primavera (also known as Allegory of Spring). She was thought to be his muse.

VenusThe Birth of Venus.

primaveraLa Primavera.

In The Birth of Venus, Venus is the central figure standing on a shell blown ashore by the wind gods Zephyrus and Aura. The scene makes reference to the birth of the goddess as told in Hesiod and Homer.

In La Primavera, Venus is seen again, well-dressed, in a scene that draws inspiration from Ovid’s tale of the arrival of spring. Venus seems to capture our attention with her gaze.

Whose lovely face inspired this image of Venus? Could they have been inspired by real women? Or by the same woman?

Many said that the Venus character was based on a model named Simonetta, who was 16 and married. She modelled not only for Botticelli’s paintings but for other well-known painters as well (Piero di Cosimo was one).

Then, rumour has it that Botticelli fell in love with Simonetta, but he kept it to himself. He celebrated his love for her by painting her many times over on most of his paintings.

simonettasSome of Botticelli’s renditions of Simonetta.
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simonetta_Vespucci

He continued to paint her even after she died at the age of 22. The Birth of Venus was actually completed nine years after her death. That seems to confirm that Botticelli was in love with her and that he was still able to still capture her beauty even by painting her from memory.

Anyway, when I learned that Botticelli’s paintings, including Idealised Portrait of A Lady (Portrait of Simonetta Vespucci As Nymph, ca. 1475), were on display at Städel Museum as Highlight Collection, I was excited.

I visited Städel Museum with my friend, Daiana, on the very first day I reached Frankfurt.

simonetta_frankfurtSource: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portrait_of_a_Young_Woman_(Botticelli,_Frankfurt)

Seeing Simonetta up-close on canvas was too personal. I was able to admire her beauty, Botticelli’s stroke and the legends that evolved around her. My mind wandered through all the stories that I read about her and Botticelli. I like to believe that the love story between them was real just like how the painting itself looks real.

Finding Simonetta at the Städel was one of the best things that happened to me. I wont be concluding the ‘meeting’ with her as I have yet to find her (in future travels) in other galleries around the world.

Till we meet again, Simonetta.

About Städel Museum
Städel Museum houses the world’s most important art collection. It encompass 3,000 paintings, 600 sculptures, more than 10,000 drawings and prints and 1,600 photographs. The collections are divided into few categories; Old Master Painting 1300 – 1800, Modern Art 1800 – 1945, Contemporary 1945 – The Present and Department of Prints And Drawings.

The Old Master Painting collection presents original paintings by Jan van Eyck, Lochner, Mantegna, Botticelli, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Poussin, Dürer and many more. This collection is my favourite as I really admire the old master painters.

As for the Modern Art collection, it presents paintings by Manet, Monet, Renoir, Picasso, Marc, Kirchner, Beckmann and many more from the era of Realism, Impressionism, Symbolism and Expressionism.

STÄDEL MUSEUM
Schaumainkai 63
60596 Frankfurt am Main
+49(0)69-605098-0
http://www.staedelmuseum.de/en/
info@staedelmuseum.de

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Museumsufer for art lovers

Prior to visiting Frankfurt, I made plans with Daiana Olteanu, a Romanian friend whom I met last year at Frankfurt BookFair, who is living in Frankfurt, to go for art discovery around Frankfurt.

I have two days free before the book fair and a day after the bookfair. So we planned well and try to cover as many art categories as we can.

From the hotel, we walked to Hauptwache, past Romer and then across the Main River to get to the other side of the river to an area called The Frankfurt museum embankment (Museumsufer). Alternatively we could take the tram or train but we preferred to walk to enjoy the nice chilly weather.

The embankment is one of the most important locations for museums in Germany and Europe. Through this unique cultural experience on both sides of the Main, the city enjoys an excellent reputation among art lovers.

There’s a total of 12 museums on the Schaumankai side, whereas about 22 museums on the other side of the Main River (some near the river, others located sporadically around Frankfurt city).

Frankfurt has more than 60 museums but there’s only 34 museums participating under Museumsufer:

  1. Altana Kulturstiftung im Sinclair-Haus, Bad Homburg
  2. Archäologisches Museum Frankfurt
  3. Bibelhaus Erlebnis Museum
  4. Caricatura Museum Frankfurt
  5. Deutsches Architekturmuseum
  6. Deutsches Filmmuseum
  7. Deutsches Ledermuseum, Offenbach
  8. Dommuseum Frankfurt am Main
  9. Eintracht Frankfurt Museum
  10. Fotografie Forum Frankfurt
  11. Frankfurter Kunstverein
  12. Geldmuseum der Deutschen Bundesbank*
  13. Frankfurter Goethe-Haus/Goethe-Museum
  14. Haus der Stadtgeschichte, Offenbach
  15. Hindemith Kabinett im Kuhhirtenturm
  16. Historisches Museum Frankfurt/ Höchster Porzellan-Museum
  17. Ikonen-Museum der Stadt Frankfurt
  18. Institut für Stadtgeschichte/Karmeliterkloster
  19. Jüdisches Museum Frankfurt
  20. Kindermuseum Frankfurt
  21. Klingspor-Museum, Offenbach
  22. Liebieghaus – Skulpturensammlung
  23. Weltkulturen Museum
  24. Museum Angewandte Kunst Frankfurt
  25. Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main
  26. Museum für Kommunikation Frankfurt
  27. Museum Giersch
  28. Museum Judengasse
  29. Portikus*
  30. Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt
  31. Senckenberg Naturmuseum Frankfurt
  32. Städel Museum
  33. Stoltze-Museum der Frankfurter Sparkasse*
  34. Struwwelpeter-Museum/Heinrich-Hoffmann-Museum

Do keep in mind that these museums are closed due to renovation works:
– Geldmuseum (Money Museum) until end of 2016
– Jüdisches Museum until 2018
– Museum Judengasse until spring 2016
– Stoltze-Museum has been relocated for 18 month to another building

museumlocationParticipating museums location.

Museum Embankment-Ticket
You can use the Museumsufer ticket to visit 34 museums on two consecutive days. If on the day after purchase museums are officially closed the ticket’s validity is extended by one day.

The Museumsufer ticket is available in three versions:
. as single ticket for €18
. as family card for 2 adults (in a partnership) and children/grandchildren under 18 years for €28
. as a concessionary ticket €10

The Ticket is not transferable; you need to show your passport and write your name on the ticket, and is only valid in combination with genuine identification.

tixSingle ticket €18 with my name on it.

I will tell about the museums I went to in my next posts (with lots of photos).

* Book your cheap Kuala Lumpur Frankfurt flights (KUL – FRA) with Lufthansa and enjoy beautiful Frankfurt. Benefit from the low fares and great service! And don’t forget to try Premium Economy Class for more personal space, more free baggage, more service. Long-haul travel in Premium Economy Class comes with plenty of comforts. 

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