Florence – San Marco and surroundings

Florence – San Marco and surroundings

Most of the traffic in the center of Florence goes along Via Cavour, the thoroughfare connecting the duomo area with Piazza della Liberta, where the ring roads converge (avenue). Apart from buses to Fiesole and other towns in the north, the street has little to offer, but halfway there is Piazza San Marco, the core of the university district. The clearly more youthful atmosphere of this area makes it a nice refuge from the hustle and bustle of the city center and at least one of the main tourist attractions of the city - Accademia - there are tourist coaches, there are several monuments here, which should not be omitted.

San Marco Museum

One side of the square is occupied by the Dominican Monastery and the Church of San Marco, who enjoyed the generous patronage of Cosimo the Elder. In the third decade of the 15th century. he financed the expansion of the complex by Michelozzo, and then founded a large public library here. Ashamed of being rich, what he offered them, the Dominicans suggested to Cosim, that he would stop supporting them on such a large scale, which the attorney replied: “I will never be able to give God this much, that he would be my debtor ". Ironically, at the end of the century the monastery became a focus of resistance against the Medici - Girolamo Savonarola, leader of the theocratic government in Florence since the expulsion of the Medici in 1494 r. until his death four years later, was from 1491 r. Prior of San Marco.

When Michelozzo rebuilt and expanded the monastery, its walls were decorated by one of the brothers, Fra Angelica, painter, whose medieval simplicity of mind harmonized with the modern sophistication of style. The Museo di San Marco is housed in the church and convent that is now deconstructed (wt.-sb. 9.00-14.00, nd. 9.00-13.00; 3000 L), essentially dedicated to the art of Fra Angelica.

Pilgrim Hospice (pilgrims' hospice) it contains about twenty of his first pictures, many of which were brought here from other churches in Florence. The Entombment and the Last Judgment are outstanding - the first one due to the sunny climate, which suggests, that the characters' thoughts turn to the Resurrection.
On the other side of the courtyard, w Chapter Hall (Chapter House) there is a powerful fresco of the Crucifixion, painted by Angelica and his assistants in 1441 r., but in terms of the drama and clarity of the composition, nothing beats the Annunciation at the top of the main stairs. They are arranged around the upper floor 44 tiny sleeping cells, all painted with frescoes by Angelica or his associates. Most of the works in the cells on the left are paintings by Angelic himself - don't miss Noli me tangere (this 1), Annunciation (this 3), Transfiguration (this 6) and the Coronation of Mary (this 9). In all likelihood, the wonderful enthroned Madonna also emerged from Angelica's brush. They appear out of nowhere in many scenes, out of nowhere St.. Dominik (with a star overhead) and St.. Peter the Martyr (with a cracked skull); ten other zealots, responsible for the massacre of Florentine heretics in the 13th century., he is a local Dominican saint of his own breeding. Michelozza Library, room, which seems to breathe an atmosphere of diligent study, it is located along the corridor on the right, at the end of which is a pair of rooms used by Cosim Elder, when he came to find a moment of solitude here.

Church of San Marco, significantly rebuilt since the intervention of Michelozzo, it is worth visiting because of the second and third altars on the right: Madonna surrounded by saints, painted by Fré Bartolome (also a brother in a monastery) w 1509 r. and the Praying Madonna mosaic from the 8th century., brought here from Constantinople.

Galleria deH’Accademia

The first Drawing Academy in Florence - and in Europe - was founded in the mid-16th century. by Bronzina, Ammannatiego i Vasariego. The Accademia del Disegno was originally located in Santissima Annunziata, w 1764 r. moved to via Ricasoli 66, and shortly thereafter it was transformed into a general art academy, Academy of Fine Arts. Twenty years later, Grand Duke Leopoldo founded the nearby Galleria deH'Accademia (wt.-sb. 9.00-14.00, nd. 9.00-13.00; 4000 L), filling its rooms with pictures for the soulfulness of students. Later, the gallery was supplemented with works from disbanded religious foundations and other sources, and now the Accademia has an impressive collection of paintings, especially Florentine altar paintings from the 14th to the beginning of the 16th century. (including several works by Botticelli). But crowds equal to those in the Uffizi don't come here for the paintings - the Michelangelo sculpture is the main attraction, famous David.

It used to be a symbol of the city's republican independence, and then the endless ambitions of a Renaissance artist, today Michelangelo's David is the coat of arms of the tourist city of Florence. The sculpture is seen for the first time, may cause some kind of shock. It was completed in 1504 r., when Michelangelo had barely 29 years; he carved it out of a gigantic block of marble, the limited thickness of which posed serious problems, and is an unparalleled display of technical bravado. David is, however, a monumental public sculpture, not suitable for the interior (do 1873 r. stał na Piazza della Signoria): viewed up close from a specially built stand at Accademia, it is not an uplifting sight. The monstrous figure, immature in proportions, impresses with its refinement of details rather than a well-composed whole.

Michelangelo once described the carving process as releasing a form from stone, which he embodied in the extraordinary, an unfinished group of Slaves set up next door. You can see here, that he first treated the figure as a deep relief, and only then did he draw the entire figure. Group, carved in 1520 r., was intended for the tomb of Julius II; w 1564 r. the artist's nephew handed it over to the Medici, who placed the sculpture in the grotto of the Bobola gardens. Among them is another unfinished work, st. Matthew, commenced shortly after David's performance, commissioned by the Opera del Duomo; figures of all the apostles were requested, but Michelangelo started only this one sculpture. The local Pieta is not anymore, like in the past, considered the work of Michelangelo.

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