Yesterday we went to see the city art collection, which is mostly artworks produced in Bologna, mostly by Bolognese artists. It is a large collection ranging in time from the 13th through the 19th centuries, and most of it is quite competent. But by the time we got about a quarter of the way through it, we began to feel tired of all of the crucified Christs, Madonnas-with-child paintings, saints, and mythic scenes. So much of the work seemed complacent and academic. I am aware that this is not fair to the artists or the art; we were perhaps not ideal observers yesterday. But I was wishing to see something else: Paul Klee (for fantasy) or Agnes Martin (for different kind of religious feeling). There were quite a number of interesting portraits; I think we enjoyed those most of all.
The collection is housed in the upper floor of a palace formerly occupied by the Papal legate (a bishop) who was also the governor of Bologna. The high ceilings are elaborately painted; I noticed that the bishop could have gazed up from his bed at a mostly nude Psyche (with Cupid?) or possibly Venus (with Adonis?) on the ceiling as he went to sleep.
Speaking of nudity, I noticed that the ancient Greeks most often show naked men and clothed women. In a lot of later art, this is reversed. How about that?
On the way home, we heard a lot of shouting and thought 'what, another protest?' But this was a group of young men (all fully clothed) having fun. One of them was wearing a white robe (it looked more like a large white sack) and a laurel wreath on his head. We think was an example of the custom of hazing a student who had just become a 'dottore.' Since this incident we have seen many more students with laurel crowns surrounded by raucous groups of their friends - I guess it's that time of year.