Florence in the heart of Tuscany is considered to be the birthplace of the Renaissance for good reason. With all the talented craftsmen, artists, writers and the wealth of the trades people and bankers, there was both enough talent and money for the arts to flourish. Florence is chock full of amazing architecture, paintings, sculpture, crafts, and food. A trip to Florence is a must for the art lover for its outstanding cathedrals,Renaissance art, plazas, food and all around immersion into an art lover’s world. Here are just a few tidbits to wet your appetite.
Florence for Art Lovers
The Michelangelo plaza has a replica of the famous sculpture of David by Michelangelo. It stood outdoors in the Piazza della Signoria, for many years, but is now housed in the Accademia delle Belle Arti.
View of Florence
A view of Florence and the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore as seen from the Michelangelo Plaza. The Duomo, as it is referred to, dominates the landscape.The dome that can be seen all over the city is a feat of engineering by the master architect Brunelleschi.
Medieval walls of Florence
These are a few of the remaining, original walls that encircled Florence during Medieval times. Many of them were taken down when Florence was made the provisional capital of Italy.
The Baptistry is one of the oldest structures in Florence.It sits in front of the great Cathedral and served as the church for the Florentines, where both the wealthy and poor were baptized.
The pink, white and green marble facade of the Santa maria del Fiore is awe inspiring, though added later than the original building. It’s size along with the carvings, sculptures and paintings attest to Florence’s wealth and power during the Renaissance.
Gates of Paradise
These doors, sculpted by Lorenzo Ghiberti, adorn the Baptistry, although the original are housed in the Museo dell ‘Opera del Duomo. When Michelangelo viewed the mastery and beauty of them, it is reported he declared, they are like the Gates of Paradise.Today that is what they are called and for good reason. Each panel is sculpted in great detail and high relief. Each panel depicts a scene from the Bible with angles, saints and the artist himself immortalized in the adorning busts.
Queeen of Sheba Panel
Shown here is a detail from one of the panels, the queen of Sheba’s visit to Solomon’s temple. Each depiction is carefully selected and this one is representative of the power and glory of Florence. One of its most powerful and wealthy families, the Medici’s among others, were great patrons of the arts in return for their name being immortalized.