Palazzo Vecchio: As Florence was in Renaissance time


  • Target: for everyone
  • Lenght: one and a half hours
  • Minimum number of participants: 4; maximum 10 people
  • when: Saturday at 10:00; sunday at 14:30

As Florence was in Renaissance time

Everyone knows the celebrated frescoes realised by Masolino and Masaccio in the Brancacci Chapel in the twenties of the XVth century. However it is not so well-known how the paintings of the stories of Saint Peter are strongly linked with the urban context of that period: infact, several settings of the frescoes refer to places and monuments of Renaissance time, giving to the biblical episodes an extraordinary actuality and an unusual closeness. Hence, not just the deep truth of the characters – as all art history books point out – but also the context gains a new aspect: human reality becomes the measure of the sacred world; hills and mountains, marked by solitary farm-houses, mould the landscape of the scene Tribute to Saint Peter; while the sceneries of the miracles of the Recovery of the lame and the Resurrection of Tabita keep peculiar micro-details of Florentine daily-life: pots on window-sills, hanging clothing, birds cages, monkies kept on leashes, pebbles on the ground, neighbours leaning out to talk.
Frescoes reveal therefore their documentary evidence, as written sources do, leading contemporary visitors to look at the stories of the Chapel with the same eyes of the Florentine people in the mid-XVth century, who were understanding the sacred episodes because they were included in their own social and urban context.

In the first part of the activity – in Palazzo Vecchio – the scenes of the Brancacci Chapel are going to be carefully analysed thanks to the film The eye of Masaccio, which will help to get the iconographical evidence of the paintings. Visitors are then going to be guided through a brief tour throughout the centre of Florence, observing all the details included in Masaccio and Masolino works. The tour will be ending at the church of Santa Maria del Carmine, where it will be possible to visit the Chapel being able to give back to the frescoes the artistic, religious and social meanings peculiar of the city of Florence iduring the Renaissance times.

The activity – beginning in Palazzo Vecchio and ending at the Brancacci Chapel – lasts two hours as a whole.

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