Charmed by the late Medieval carvings at the Museo dell’opera di duomo, Firenze

Taking full advantage of the open door policy for residents, today I happily visited the cathedral’s Museo. I’m a greedy little art historian: tomorrow I will pay the museum another visit. Because I can! Oh, the luxury of living in Florence! I feel so blessed.

I was beguiled by the carvings for the cathedral, created in the 1330s, by Andrea Pisano and his workshop.  Please join me in enjoying their naive loveliness:

God creating Adam:

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Can Eve be far behind? No!

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You know what follows. Eventually Adam is going to have to go to work.

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Jubal: the beginning of sheep herding.  Complete with his tent and little dog.

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Jubal: the beginning of the art of music:

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Tubalcain, the beginning of the art of metal work:

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The Drunkenness of Noah: the beginning of wine making:

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The art of building:

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The art of medicine:

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The art of weaving:

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The beginning of law making:

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Perhaps, since I spend some time teaching English online to children in China, I really liked “grammatica”

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Here’s “architecture”

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And here is Phidias, who was the first famous sculptor:

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The sacrament of baptism:

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Appelles, the art of painting:

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And an image that soothed my soul: “Reconciliation”

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But, today, of all the stunning things I saw, I like this one best of all.  The Madonna and Child by Andrea Pisano’s workshop:

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I love, love, love the way the madonna seems to genuinely enjoy the humor of the Christ child, as she tickles him??!!

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When in Florence, you must go see these charmers!

 

The medieval baptistery in Florence in open once again

As if to thank the residents of Florence for enduring the 2 month long lockdown, the government has given us free admission into the complex of the duomo.  As the 4 buildings of the baptistery, the bell tower, the cathedral and the museum reopen, we can, with reservations made online, visit these sites for free. Hallelujah!  I am seriously in  need of some artistic nourishment.

I was one of the first people to enter the baptistery on May 22 and, for a period of about 10 minutes, I had the entire place to myself.  Wow.  That’s an exceedingly rare experience and I’ll remember it forever.

 

 

 

 

 

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This town and the baptistery are both dedicated to the patron saint of St. John the Baptist.

The next few pictures are of the ceiling and the altar itself in in the altar niche in the baptistery. First, Christ in Majesty in mosaic.

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opposite: The Virgin and Child.

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Below, the central medallion over the altar.

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I really love the simple, medieval decoration of the back wall. It has not been “Renaissanced” up.

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The exterior of the baptistery is so wonderful, with the striped patterns made up of creamy white and dark green veneers of marble:

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Back inside, the tomb of Pope Paul XXIII by Donatello is under cover for the moment.

 

Below, more details of the altar space:

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And now, for the outstanding mosaic cycle in the domed space above. I’ll never forget confronting the face of Jesus when I made my first visit to Florence when I was 27.  I wasn’t prepared for this Byzantine visage, thinking Florence would be all-Renaissance, all the time.

 

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A statue of St. John the Baptist above and below:

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The eye wanders up to the dome again and again:

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A sarcophagus that looks like it might be a recycled Roman era object, with a lid that clearly relates to Christianity.

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I love looking at the gallery space, especially the inlaid ceilings:

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The ceiling in the gallery space below is treated with mosaics as well.

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And once more, looking up at the dome:

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It is also worth looking down. The many-patterned pavement in this august building is superb:

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And now for the font, the building’s raison d’être:

 

 

 

And now, one last look at the Baptistery with no one in it but Byzantine Jesus and me.

 

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