In Sarasota, arts and culture rival the beaches | 12/15/2019 | Staff
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When you think of Florida you think of warm weather, beaches and probably retirees.

Sarasota - Description - City - Florida - Gulf

Sarasota certainly fits that description, but this fast-growing city along Florida’s Gulf of Mexico coast offers more than just sun and sand. In fact, visitors can spend a weekend here without experiencing the sugary white sand of Lido Beach and Siesta Key. The two beaches are regularly ranked among the country’s best beaches.

From all things art and culture to a vibrant foodie scene, Sarasota surprises at every turn. Then again, maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise given the large number of well-to-do "snowbirds," as retirees who winter in Florida are called.

City - Gem - John - Mable - Ringling

The city’s gem is the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, which takes its name from one of the founders of the famous Ringling Brothers Circus. I spent a day here and didn’t see anywhere close to everything. This is easily a destination in its own right.

Operated by Florida State University, the museum’s main building, which resembles a baroque palace, features over 20 galleries.

Work - Collection - Triumph - Eucharist - Sir

By far the most spectacular work in its collection is the “Triumph of the Eucharist” by Sir Peter Paul Rubens, the Flemish master of the 17th-century and promoter of church of Rome’s Counter-Reformation.

Commissioned in 1625 by the daughter of Philip II, the Habsburg king of Spain, the five oil paintings were acquired by Ringling in 1926 from Hugh Grosvenor, the 2nd duke of Westminster. Used to produce decorative tapestries, the paintings depict the central sacrament of Christianity through the Roman Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation — that is to say, the bread and wine of communion becoming the actual body and blood of Christ. This doctrine has been highly fought over and to this day is rejected by most Protestants.

Ringling - Historic - Circus

Quite fittingly, the Ringling includes a separate Historic Circus...
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