I was going back through my photos from Biltmore on this rainy afternoon, and realized that I had not written about and shared photos of our visit to the Italian Renaissance Alive exhibit at Biltmore.
Several years ago, Biltmore contracted with a company called Grande Experiences for a series of “immersive, multi-sensory experiences” in one of Biltmore’s conference centers. The company has been doing these shows nationwide. Charlotte recently had a Van Gogh Alive exhibit, and Biltmore had previously hosted (if memory serves) Monet & Friends and Leonardo Da Vinci Collection – which we attended in October – and this one titled Italian Renaissance Alive.
The exhibitions are nicely done, with an introductory series of rooms showing physical reproductions of many of the works featured in the show. The Da Vinci exhibit included scale models of several of Da Vinci’s inventions as well as prints of many of his famous works. This introduction leads the viewer to a large room, where there are lots of screens, playing a continuous loop of images, accompanied by appropriately dramatic music.
My biggest issue with the show was that there was a lot of animation, from the relatively tame “Ken Burns Effect” of panning on a portion of an image, to actual animation of some of the artworks themselves. Imagine “The Creation of Adam” from the Sistine Chapel, with the figures of Adam and God floating toward each other in space, or moving limbs or the eyes of one or more of the subjects blinking. That was a bit unsettling, coupled with the fact that very few of the paintings were shown in their entirety, or if they were, for only a few seconds. For me that made it more about the entertainment factor than the art, but I guess that is today’s world.
Both of the shows were interesting, and for many people probably the closest they will ever get to famous art so close to home. Not to boast, but for me it was a bit of a letdown compared to having seen many of the original works in person. Still, something interesting to do for a couple of hours!
Last week, Kathy & I ventured to the Biltmore Estate in Asheville to take in the spring flowers in the gardens, check out the Renaissance Alive art presentation, and of course to eat and to buy wine. 😉
Biltmore is an easy 2 hour drive from Charlotte, suitable for a day trip but also a nice way for an easy overnight. We had reward points that allowed us to stay for free at a motel in nearby Biltmore Village, so we had the better part of two days. As Annual Passholders we didn’t have to pay extra for the visits, which can otherwise be a little pricey.
Even without visiting Biltmore House itself, the grounds and gardens are such a nice place to spend a day or part of the day. The gardens are extensive, and the Conservatory itself is larger than most homes. We concentrated mostly on the outside gardens, although as we were getting ready to leave, the sounds of a hammered dulcimer drew us inside for a listen.
My pictures may not prove it, but we were at Biltmore about a week early for peak fall color. I had to “help” the color a bit in processing to make them look as fallish as they do, but they still give a pretty good idea of what things looked like.
Last week’s blast of cold air and accompanying winds discouraged any thoughts I had of getting out early and took care of our bold plans for a picnic or two. But we still managed to find some nice color on a couple of days.
I’ve got more photos to share and will work on them over the next few days.
Kathy & I are at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC celebrating our 42nd anniversary. I’ve been joking that this is quite an upgrade from our honeymoon in Gatlinburg, TN. 😉
We did an early morning guided house tour on Monday and have a few days of exploring planned, including taking in their Leonardo Davinci exhibit on Wednesday. I’ve taken a few photos so far, including this one of the Biltmore House from The Lagoon, a spot along the French Broad River.
Monte enjoyed my motion blur photo from a couple of days ago so I thought I would serve up a few more. Sometimes the camera moves, sometimes the subject moves.
Lots of motion blur here today as we await Ian’s arrival. It’s been rainy, breezy and chilly – a good day to work on photos and watch Formula 1 practice! Ian keeps angling further east of us, which is good for us but unfortunately not so good for someone else. Should be by us by morning, hopefully!