Where to find Great Works of Art, Florence

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  • Where to find Great Works of Art
    by brendareed
  • Where to find Great Works of Art
    by brendareed
  • Where to find Great Works of Art
    by brendareed
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    Michelangelo in Florence

    by brendareed Written Jun 9, 2014

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    Favorite thing: The master artist Michelangelo Buonarroti was from Florence. He lived and worked here until called to Rome by Pope Julius II to paint the Sistine Chapel. It is to Florence that Michelangelo would travel to when escaping the demands of Rome. He is buried in Florence. Michelangelo considered himself a sculptor and not a painter so it is ironic that he is most famous for this painted ceiling and the subject of books and movies.

    The artist was not only a sculptor and and painter, but he was an architect as well and worked on some of the best known buildings in Rome and Florence. In his spare time he also was a poet and a writer and left a large legacy of poems and letters so that we can learn about the troubled life of this artist. In Florence, you can see many of his famous works, including the most famous of all – David.

    The works of Michelangelo are all around Florence so I have compiled a list of them for Michelangelo lovers to easily track them down. Obviously, images of Michelangelo’s David can be seen in every souvenir shop in Florence. If you only have a short time in Florence, I recommend you visit the Accademia and the Medici Chapel in San Lorenzo for the best of Michelangelo in the city.

    Sculptures

    Casa Buonarroti
    Madonna of the Stairs
    Battle of the Centaurs

    Santo Spirito
    Crucifix

    Museo Nazionale del Bargello
    Bacchus
    Madonna and Child (Tondo Pitti)
    Apollo (David)
    Brutus

    Galleria dell’Accademia
    David
    St. Matthew
    Young Slave
    Atlas Slave
    Bearded Slave
    Awakening Slave
    Palestrina Pietà

    Museo dell’Opera del Duomo (Cathedral Museum)
    Florentine Pietà

    Palazzo Vecchio
    Genius of Victory

    Medici Chapel – Basilica of San Lorenzo
    Night and Day - Tomb of Giuliano d’Medici
    Evening and Morning - Tomb of Lorenzo d’Medici
    Virgin and Child

    Architecture

    Medici Chapel (New Sacristy) – Basilica of San Lorenzo
    Laurentian Library
    Model for new façade of the Basilica of San Lorenzo (unexecuted)

    Tomb of Michelangelo is located in the Basilica of Santa Croce.

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    Donatello in Florence

    by brendareed Written Jun 9, 2014

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    Favorite thing: Donatello (1386-1466) is well represented in Florence, having been born, raised, and died in the city. He learned to work with metals and intricate details while an apprentice to a goldsmith. At an early age, he was taken under the patronage of Cosimo d’Medici, and was buried beside his patron and friend in San Lorenzo.

    Donatello was contemporary with such Florentine masters as Brunelleschi and Ghiberti. In fact, Donatello accompanied Brunelleschi to Rome for several years studying the art and architecture in the city; this is when Brunelleschi studied the Pantheon and devised his plan for the Florence dome.

    Donatello’s works are mostly sculptures, both bronze and marble, and some bas-reliefs that can be seen in Siena and pulpits in Florence’s San Lorenzo Church. He was quite prolific in his works, keeping busy for his entire life.

    I have listed the works of Donatello that can be seen in Florence. As you can see, the list is extensive, but I have grouped the works by location. If you have only a short time to see Florence, I recommend you visit the Bargello, the Cathedral Museum, and Orsanmichele for the best of Donatello.

    Museo Nazionale del Bargello
    God of the Sea
    Cupid/Atys
    David with head of Goliath (marble)
    David with head of Goliath (bronze)
    St. George (with lower relief)
    Marzocco
    Bust of Niccolo da Uzzano
    Crucifixion
    Cosimo d’Medici

    Museo dell’Opera del Duomo (Cathedral Museum)
    Cantoria
    Prophet Habakkuk
    Prophet Jeremiah
    Mary Magdalene
    St. John the Evangelist
    Bearded Prophet
    Prophet with Scroll
    Sacrifice of Isaac

    Orsanmichele
    St. Mark
    St. Peter

    Palazzo Vecchio
    Judith and Holofernes

    Florence Baptistry
    Funeral monument to Anti-Pope John XXIII

    Duomo
    Prophets (Porta della Mandorla)
    Coronation of the Virgin (stained glass)

    Museo dell’Opera di Santa Croce
    St. Louis of Toulouse

    Basilica of Santa Croce
    Crucifix
    Virgin and Child
    Annunciation

    Museo Bardini
    Virgin and Child

    Basilica of San Lorenzo
    Resurrection Pulpit
    Passion Pulpit
    Door of the Martyrs - Old Sacristy
    Door of the Apostles – Old Sacristy
    Various stucco tondos in Old Sacristy
    Tomb of Donatello

    Palazzo Martelli
    Coat of Arms of Casa Martelli

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    Brunelleschi in Florence

    by brendareed Written Jun 9, 2014

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    Favorite thing: Filippo Brunelleschi (1377-1446) was a genius when it came to architecture and engineering. The triumph of his career can be seen from all over Florence and the surrounding areas: the dome of the Cathedral. Not only did he design the dome, but he designed the machinery that would be used to create this massive dome. Earlier in his career, he studied and became a master goldsmith, part of the silk merchants guild. Brunelleschi traveled to Rome with Donatello and studied the Pantheon, which is where his ideas for the Florence Cathedral’s dome evolved.

    He is also known for competing against Ghiberti for the commission to create the doors to the Florence Baptistry – he lost the competition but his entry of the Sacrifice of Isaac is one of only two remaining entries and is on display next to the winning entry by Ghiberti in the Bargello.

    Brunelleschi was very protective of his ideas and typically would not share them with others. The story is told by biographer Vasari of how Brunelleschi, when asked for his plans for the dome, told the leaders planning the construction to stand an egg upright on one end. When they couldn’t do this, Brunelleschi crushed one end of the egg and it stood upright. After the others exclaimed that anyone could do that, Brunelleschi replied that anyone would be able to build the dome if he shared his plans.

    Below is a list of the works by Brunelleschi in Florence. If you have just a short time, then I recommend you spend it at the Cathedral – visit the interior and climb to the top of the dome. As you walk the steps leading to the top, you can see the construction of this engineering marvel.

    Bargello
    Sacrifice of Isaac

    Santa Maria Novella
    Crucifix

    Architecture
    Dome and lantern of the Florence Cathedral
    architectural models on display at the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo (Cathedral Museum)
    Ospedale degli Innocenti
    Basilica di San Lorenzo
    Palazzo di Parte Guelfa
    Old Sacristy of San Lorenzo Church
    Santo Spirito
    Pazzi Chapel in Santa Croce cloister
    Rotunda of Santa Maria degli Angeli

    His tomb is located in the Florence Cathedral.

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    Masaccio in Florence

    by brendareed Updated Jun 9, 2014

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    Favorite thing: Masaccio is high on my list of favorite Renaissance artists. His short life (he died at the age of 26) produced some influential works and he was the first to use a vanishing point (seen in the Tribute Money in the Brancacci Chapel. His use of linear perspective, new in his day, as well as his use of architecture within the paintings to create a feeling of depth was groundbreaking.

    Michelangelo admits to Masaccio being one of his primary influences and the master was known to spend hours in the Brancacci Chapel studying Masaccio’s works.

    It is a shame that Masaccio died so young; it makes you wonder where art may be today if he lived a full life and continued his trend of new techniques in art.

    In Florence, there are two places that are must-see spots for Masaccio, but these spots are really must-see places for Renaissance art. So if you are interested in Renaissance art, be sure to add these Masaccio works to your Florence bucket list:

    Santa Maria del Carmine
    Brancacci Chapel

    Santa Maria Novella
    Trinity

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    Ghiberti in Florence

    by brendareed Written Jun 9, 2014

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    Favorite thing: Lorenzo Ghiberti (1378-1455) was a master sculpture in Florence. He is best known for two sets of doors on the Florence Baptisty, one set on the north side and the other on the east side, having won a competition for the north doors, beating such artists as Brunelleschi for the commission. The east doors have been called the “Gates of Paradise” after Michelangelo saw them and exclaimed they should be called as such.

    Ghiberti was known for being late on making deadlines and tended to take on more work than he could realistically do within the time requested. He was also a perfectionist that would redo pieces (in bronze it meant melting down the first attempt) until he was satisfied. His “Gates of Paradise” doors demonstrate the artist’s ability to adapt to new techniques and show perspective. His self portrait is a small bust on these east doors.

    Ghiberti died in Florence at the age of 77 and is buried in the Church of Santa Croce.

    I have listed Ghiberti’s works in Florence. If you are short on time, I highly recommend that you see the doors on the Baptistry. The east doors are the doors facing the Cathedral; the north doors would be to the right of the east doors.

    Bargello
    Sacrifice of Isaac

    Bapistry
    Life of Christ – North doors
    Scenes from Old Testament – East doors
    Self portrait – part of the East doors

    Orsanmichele
    St. John the Baptist
    St. Matthew
    St. Stephen

    Ospedale di Santa Maria Nuova
    Door of a Ciborium

    Basilica of Santa Croce
    Tomb of Ghiberti

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    Botticelli in Florence

    by brendareed Updated Jun 9, 2014

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    Favorite thing: Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510) is a Florentine painter that experienced an upheaval mid-career. Early on, he was under the patronage of Lorenzo d’Medici and created such fabulous paintings as Birth of Venus and Primavera. He traveled to Rome and helped paint some of the side paintings in the Sistine Chapel for Pope Sixtus IV.

    However, Botticelli, upon his return to Florence, came under the spell of Savonarola, who preached against many “vanities” in Florence. Botticelli is known to have place many of his own paintings into the flames of Savonarola’s “Bonfires of the Vanities”, which was fueled by many peoples’ artworks, jewelry, books, wigs, and anything else that the friar felt was sinful. The reason that Botticelli’s most famous works (Birth of Venus and Primavera) were not destroyed is because they were the property of Lorenzo d’Medici at that time. After the era of Savonarola, Botticelli’s work changed to religious scenes rather than pagan themes.

    I have listed the works by Botticelli that can be found in Florence. If you are short on time, I highly recommend you visit the Uffizi and see the Botticelli works on display. You can also visit the site of Savonarola’s execution, at the site of the “Bonfires of the Vanities” in the Piazza del Signoria.

    Uffizi
    Madonna della Loggia
    Madonna in Glory with Seraphim
    Fortitude
    Madonna of the Rose garden
    Madonna and Child with Six Saints
    Discovery of the Body of Holofernes
    Return of Judith to Bethulia
    Portrait of Man with a Medal of Cosimo the Elder
    Adoration of the Magi
    Annunciation
    Magnificat Madonna
    Spring (Primavera)
    Pallas and the Centaur
    Birth of Venus
    Madonna of the Pomegranate
    Virgin and Child with Four Angels and Six Saints
    Coronation of the Virgin
    Cestello Annunciation
    St. Augustine in his Cell
    Calumny of Apelles
    Adoration of the Magi

    Accademia
    Virgin and Child with Two Angels and St. John the Baptist
    Madonna of the Sea

    Santa Maria Novella
    Birth of Christ

    Palazzo Pitti
    Portrait of a Young Man
    Portrait of a Young Woman
    Madonna and Child and Young St. John the Baptist

    Ospedale degli Innocenti
    Madonna and Child with Angel

    Ognissanti
    St. Augustine
    Tomb of Botticelli

    No photos are allowed in the Uffizi so I do not have any pictures of Botticelli's works. However, you can see an informative video about this artist and some photos of his works at the Khan Academy website.

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    Galleria dell'Accademia

    by windoweb Written Nov 28, 2010

    Favorite thing: If you find yourself lucky enough to be in Florence - go to see Michelangelo's David at Galleria dell'Accademia.

    Fondest memory: I found Tuscany to be romantic with its fine art, angels, landscapes of vineyards and olive trees.

    Michelangelo's David is a must see site
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    Piazza della Signora

    by Gypsystravels Updated Sep 28, 2007

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    Favorite thing: The Piazza della Signora is considered the cultural centre of Florence. Here you can sense the large open-air gallery feeling which is thronged with great statues and fountains.

    I am standing in front of the famous Neptune's Fountain by Ammannati. You will also find an exact replica of Micelangelo's David here in this piazza where the original once stood here in the Piazza della Signora in front of the Pallazzo Vecchio (the original is now located at the Galleria dell' Accademia).

    Neptune's fountain behind me
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    Only ancient art ??

    by alfa338 Written Aug 25, 2007

    Favorite thing: Is nobody intrested in the art of today ?
    There is a world famuos international arts biennale in Florence... In Decembre 2007 my wife ( http://www.artbymasha.com/ ) will take part of this event. Check it out : http://www.florencebiennale.org/

    We will be back with photos and tips about Florence, and the biennale after our visit there in Decembre 2007.

    Fondest memory: If you need a guide - try to catch Leif Karlsson; a swede who loved the country and the city enough to quit his job in Sweden to move to Florence and become a tourist guide ;-) That's dedication for you ;-)

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    Meet Vasari

    by m-joy Updated Jul 14, 2004

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    Favorite thing: Besides Michelangelo, Brunelleschi and da Vinci, Giorgio Vasari was one of the most famous and talented artists of Florence in the middle ages. He lived in the 16th century and some of his brilliant works are the rebuilding of the Palazzo Veccio and the construction of the Uffizi Gallery building. Moreover he painted the Duomo’s cupola, a highlight which you can admire best on the way up on it.

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    Museo dell' Opera del Duomo

    by meteorologist1 Written Dec 20, 2003

    Favorite thing: Here at the Museo dell' Opera del Duomo (located very close to the Duomo) you can see some amazing sculptures by famous artists, including Michelangelo's late Pieta. This museum also has some amazing church-related sculptures. This museum is definitely worth a visit.

    See my Museo dell' Opera del Duomo travelogue for more photos!

    Michelangelo's late Pieta
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    Sculptures and statues

    by meteorologist1 Written Dec 20, 2003

    Fondest memory: You can basically find great works of outdoor art -- in particular sculptures and statues -- in Florence. I think that most of the sculptures and statues are concentrated near the Uffizi and Palazzo Vecchio. There are so many of these things to take pictures of. Hope you have enough film or memory in your camera!

    sculpture in Florence
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    Go and see the real David in...

    by margaretvn Updated Sep 17, 2003

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    Favorite thing: Go and see the real David in the Galleria dell'Accademia.

    Fondest memory: One of my favourite memories linked with Florence is about the David. I love the statue David and to keep me happy until I could see the original Koos bought me a small copy. He stood on the coffee table by us at home but every time my parents came to visit us my mum turned the statue so that he had his back to her!! I remember standing in front to the large original David and thinking -how would Mum turn this statue - and laughing.
    This is a stolen photo (taken illegally in the Galleria!!!)

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    a little bit of history

    by margaretvn Updated Sep 17, 2003

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    Fondest memory: One of my favourite artists is Michelangelo (born on March 6, 1475 in Caprese, [Italy], he died on Feb. 18, 1564 in Rome)Actually to be more precise Michelagnolo Buonarroti. He was considered the greatest living artist in his lifetime, and ever since he has been held to be one of the greatest artists of all times. Several of his works - paintings, sculpture and architecture are among the most famous in the world. These works include the frescoes on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican which are probably one of the best known of his works today. Michelangelo, himself though considered himself first and foremost a Sculptor. In his lifetime it was not unusual to practice several types of art if all of them were based on design or drawing. Michelangelo worked in marble sculpture all his life and in the other arts only at certain periods. The high regard for the Sistine ceiling is partly a reflection of the greater attention paid to painting in the 20th century and partly due to the fact that it was completed during his life, unlike many of the artist's works in the other materials.

    my favourite sculptor
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    The Rape of the Sabines, by Giambolonga (1583)

    by pili Updated Aug 17, 2003

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    Favorite thing: It illustrates an episode from the early history of ancient Rome. The Romans, unable to obtain wives peacefully, staged a festival, invited the neighboring Sabines, and, at a signal from Romulus, each violently seized a Sabine woman.
    The Sabine women were revered as the mothers of the first Romans.-

    El Rapto de las Sabinas relata un episodio de la temprana historia de Roma. Los romanos, incapaces de obtener esposas por medio de la paz, organizaron un festival e invitaron a sus vecinos, los Sabines y siguiendo una indicación de Rómulo, tomaron por violencia una mujer sabina.-
    Las mujeres sabinas son rememoradas como las madres de los primeros romanos

    The Rape of the Sabines

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