A weekend in Florence. What better way to celebrate one´s
The church is S Frediano, near the old road to Pisa. This
photograph on the way back from a restaurant near Santa Maria Novella:
The next day was devoted to shopping, in between bouts of which we
visited the church of S Lorenzo. This annunciation is by Filippo
And the saints are by the school of Ghirlandaio:
The sacristy has medallions in the vaulting by Donatello. Here is an
As usual, the vigilant guards were determined to prevent one from using
any kind of assistance to photography. On this occasion, they
would not let me rest my pocket tripod on the chest where vestments had
once been stored. The Church is also home to a pair of
bronze pulpits Donatello started when he was 74. They were
finished by his pupils, but like the famous painting of the martyrdom
of St Laurence, the amount of perspective correction I should have had
to make to any feasible shot ruled it out.
So here is his St John the Evangelist, from the Museo dell´Opere
del Duomo instead:
Followed by his choir loft:
Opposite della Robbia´s version:
Here are some of the panels from the della Robbia - the originals, it
turned out, the balcony contains copies.
The room next door had a series of reliefs he had carved on
classical themes. Here are two whose names I failed to write down
(the paper would probably have gone soggy in my pocket, as had the
leaflet from S Lorenzo on the previous day).
|Unusually, the Internet does not
seem to know ....
|what these reliefs depict
The other major attractions in the museum are Michelangelo´s
Pietà, in which he portrays himself as a Sean Connery lookalike,
and the original of Ghiberti´s doors for the baptistry.
This frame, the only shot I am really happy with, shows how it is
better to underexpose digital photographs than to overexpose
them. A project for our next visit, in May.
The sacrifice of Abraham. The glint of light in the top right
corner is a reflection of the ceiling lights. Here is the less
satisfactory meeting of Solomon and Queen of Sheba.
And the creation of Adam
and finally, Moses receives the commandments.
Next time, I must remember to take a polarising lens, to get rid of all
the reflections. There was still time for a lightning visit to
Here is S Francis in the Bardi chapel
and the founder´s commemorative stone
Here is a polyptych by Giotto, in the museum while the chapel in which
it normally belongs was being restored.
If you click on the picture above, you can get the full-size
version of the photom but be warned, it is a big file - 600Kb.
Saturday was the day that our pal Giuseppe was coming up from
Rome. He took this photo of us standing on the Ponte Vecchio:
And here is Giuseppe with MC
We walked up to S Miniato al Monte
The upper chapel has windows made of translucent marble
While the nave still has naive paintings and woodwork:
Before we walked down to lunch, we took the opportunity of getting a
panoramic view from the terrace in front of the church.
Well, yes, I did warm up the sky a bit, but it really was very bright
by now. You can see from the shot of Giuseppe and MC standing on
the bank of the Arno:
And, after lunch, there was still quite a lot of light at 3pm,
considering the clocks were going forward that evening.
The Duomo is an great shot at night, too.
I don't remember whether I had ever been into the Baptistry before,
perhaps it had been in restauro the previous occasion I tried.
Anyway, here is the altar:
And the mosaic ceiling
And the walls are just as ornate.
Complex enough to fool the while balance computer in the camera, too:
I suppose the difference in colour temperature is a result of hom much
direct light falls on a wall. We finish where we started, at
Santa Maria Novella.
Oh yes, and in a jacket we didn't have when we arrived.