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  Logic Path: Home Page >> The Secrets >> Paolo Uccello e gli enigmi dell'orologio

Paolo Uccello e gli enigmi dell'orologio

Paolo Uccello was one who always astounded others. His clock in the Cathedral is a riddle because it functions according to the 'hora italica', a measurement of time used in the past. In fact, as we have already seen, in ancient times the day began soon after sunset and ended at the following sunset. But the exact hour of sunset, that is the twenty-fourth hour, varied according to the season. Those living in this epoch were used to this system. We, however, have to look at the dialplate with a manual translating table in order to understand it. In fact, what was considered normal for our ancestors became very bizarre to us. Moreover, Paolo Uccello is considered an enigma both as a painter and as a man. In fact, by looking at what has remained of his work, beginning with the pictures of the 'Battaglia di San Romano', we are surprised by his interpretation of blue fields, red cities, green and pink horses and by a countless number of other animals of strange forms and colours. His images are composed of far off memories, fantasies, stifled expressions, hallucinations and omens. As a boy, Paolo began as Ghiberti's helper by working in a group cleaning the first door of the Baptistery. Then he began to work for himself. For example, in Venice he worked as a mosaicist in the Basilica of San Marco. Documents of the time indicate a career filled with commissions, payments and travels. We know of a house in Via della Scala and of a shop in San Giovanni Square. And nevertheless, according to history, Paolo Uccello belonged more to a fantasy world than to a business world. Vasari described him as stubborn and lonely, completely obsessed by his studies on perspective, which was a true fixation. Everything in an eccentric framework: rooms in which stood out paintings of "birds, cats and dogs and every type of strange animal that he could draw." And because of this, according to history, he was nicknamed Paolo degli Uccelli, (Paolo of the Birds) abbreviated Paolo Uccello, while others believe it was because he was a descendent of the Uccellini family, that of the "Canto alle Rondini". The epilogue was sad. The painter died extremely poor and old in Santa Maria Nuova hospital on December 10, 1475. He didn't end up in a communal grave only because there was a paternal tomb waiting for him in the famous Santo Spirito Church.


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