Florence and more Masaccios

Florence has so much renaissance art to offer the tourist. This morning we went to the Uffizi Gallery which must have more masterpieces per square metre than any other building I have ever been in… but more about that another time.

The Santa Maria Del Carmine on the other side of the river was our prime destination to bathe in one of Masaccio’s other great works.

Florence, fresco, Carmine
The Brancucci Chapel in Santa Maria del Carmine, in Florence, Italy.

The Brancucci Chapel. In the church of the Carmelites, Masaccio teamed up with the elder, but less accomplished, Masolino da Panicale, to fresco the chapel. The wealthy Florentine merchant, Felice Brancucci commissioned Masolino around 1427. Masaccio joined his then master a year later. The programme was associated with the Life of St Peter, after the dedication to the church. In addition there are scenes including Adam and Eve in Paradise and their expulsion. The Tribute Money is another of those images I have studied but now had the opportunity to see up close. The work was of such importance in the fifteenth century onwards that it is claimed the great Florentines and others visited and were inspired including, Leonardo Da Vinci, Raphael and Michelangelo.

Masaccio, St Peter and the Tribute Money, c1427, Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence.

Neither Massacio nor Masolino stayed in Florence to complete the work. Philipino Lippi was commissioned to complete the cycle in the 1470s but such was the skill of his work that it is difficult to determine his hand from the earlier artist’s. The fresco cycle has been lucky to survive, being moved and covered and even surviving a disastrous fire in the eighteenth century. The  chapel was completely renovated in the 1980s and the original stunning colours restored.

Masolino, Lippi, carmellites, botticelli
Massacio, Raising of the Son of Theophilus and St Peter Enthroned , c1427, Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence

Anyway…back to Venice now to work on essays again.

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