The Incredible Frescoes of Florence
Countless people choose to spend their vacations in Tuscany every year. There are so many incredible locations to visit, with the wine region of Chianti and the medieval hilltop town of San Gimignano being just two of the most popular. One area that certainly deserves a visit is Florence, as there’s just so much to love about this town (from the stunning architecture, to the amazing traditional Tuscan foods). If you do choose to visit Florence, you’re sure to want to check out some of the amazing frescoes to be found here.
What’s so special about Florence’s frescoes?
Tuscany is home to a wide variety of medieval cathedrals – most of which are home to some truly amazing frescoes. These kinds of art were incredibly popular in cathedrals between the 12th and 17th century, and while there are many amazing examples across the wider region, most find that Florence is home to the greatest collection.
Some of the 15th century’s best compositions can be found here, so even if you’re not visiting for the art, it’s well worth taking a few hours out of your day to see some of these beautiful masterpieces.
The majority were created by truly magnificent artists, ranging from Giotto to Ghirlandaio, so you’re sure to find that each one is special in its own right. There are so many fantastic works that you simply can’t miss; although with so many, you might not have time to see them all. With this in mind, which ones should you consider checking out?
The Life of Saint Peter
The Life of Saint Peter, one of history’s most studied fresco cycles of all time, is a truly outstanding piece located in the Brancacci Chapel, within the church of Santa Maria del Carmine.
Painted by Masaccio (and Masolino, who was his mentor at the time of inception), this piece truly shows the young artist’s innate skills. Instead of the Gothic style that was commonplace back then, he tried to make something more realistic. This is one of the facets that makes this particular piece so iconic, and why you’ll surely want to see it for yourself.
Masaccio had created a variety of stunning frescoes during his time, including Trinity; which is often thought to be one of his best works. Using linear perspective, he was able to add a new sense of depth to this painting – and when it was unveiled at the Santa Maria Novella Church, countless citizens and artists were absolutely stunned.
The process he used to create depth was considered ingenious at the time – with a nail at the vanishing point and plenty of string, he was able to map it out perfectly. You can even see some markings left from his preparation work, too.
Herod’s Banquet is one of many incredible compositions within the Tornabuoni Chapel that were created by Domenico Ghirlandaio (one of the best known artists of his time).
Located in the Santa Maria Novella Church, the examples in this chapel are often considered incredible and worth checking out. Herod’s Banquet is just one of many depicting the level of talent that Ghirlandaio had to offer.
The life of Saint Benedict
Florence is home to a variety of incredible frescoes – and while the Life of Saint Benedict by Spinello Aretino is undoubtedly an amazing example, it is considered to be unique in more ways than one. Firstly, this fresco is well known for being more cartoonish than the more realistic pieces synonymous with this period in time, while also maintaining a graceful and beautiful esthetic. When seeing it for yourself, you may be able to notice that it lacks both composition and depth, but that’s not what makes this such an interesting exposition.
The true beauty lies in its color, elegance, and how the scene was portrayed – and these are the things that make this piece such a unique and distinct painting for connoisseurs. If you consider yourself to be a fan of art or just want to see one of Florence’s best offerings, you’ll surely want to pay a visit to the San Miniato al Monte Church to check it out.
Artworks in the Spanish Chapel
A part of the Santa Maria Novella Church, the Spanish Chapel is decorated with stunning frescoes by Andrea di Bonaiuto – and each one is an incredible specimen that you won’t want to miss out on seeing for yourself.
The fine details and colors of each are intrinsic to the overall beauty of the art, but one of the things that makes these pieces so special is what they have to offer from a historical point of view. These were painted with the virtues of the church in mind, with a focus on the Dominican order fighting against evil. This, alongside the incredible artwork used to depict the story, are what make the frescoes in this chapel so special and well worth a visit.
The amazing creations of Fra Angelico
Fra Angelico was known for creating some truly fantastic pieces, many of which are frescoes that can be seen in Florence – so be sure to check out a few of his amazing works while you’re visiting. A good example of one of his paintings is the Annunciation in the Convent of San Marco, but this is just one of several stunning offerings that you should check out.
Driven by his passion to inspire others to be more religious, he created some truly incredible compositions. Unlike many other artists, he often used both realism and mysticism in his art – and this alone makes his masterpieces so iconic.
Here are some works in Florence that you won’t want to miss:
- The Last Judgement
- The Coronation of the Virgin
- The Deposition of Christ
A wide variety of stunning pieces
If you’re interested in seeing some of these frescoes, or any other incredible works of art, Florence is the perfect town for you – although you’re sure to find that there are many amazing churches in Tuscany that have stunning creations on offer, too.