You can look at today's opening of the “Florence at the Dawn of the Renaissance: Painting and Illumination, 1300–1350” exhibition in a couple of ways. One: Money and creativity somehow got along at one point and the result is the illusion that all art is forever. Another: Beauty outlasts money and exists for everyone, even if it is essentially cloistered in faraway lands. While intriguing also-rans Bernardo Daddi, Pacino di Bonaguida, Taddeo Gaddi are represented in this exhaustive overview of the dawn of the Renaissance, the exhibition's marquee value is master naturalist painter Giotto di Bondone and depressingly transcendent author Dante Alighieri. Seven paintings by Giotto are presented — the largest number ever gathered publicly in North America — as well as the earliest illuminated copies of Dante's Divina Commedia. This is that rare moment in which you can in person appreciate the Renaissance's finest art – illumination not merely bedecked in gold and silver but also The Word Of God, which continues to be a big seller even in our postmodern era of cynicism and love. Getty Center, 1200 Getty Center Dr.; opens Tues., Nov. 13, 1 p.m.; exhibit runs Tues.-Sun., thru Feb. 10; free. ($15 to park). (310) 440-7300,

Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: Nov. 13. Continues through Feb. 10, 2012

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