Florence, 2004

A weekend in Florence. What better way to celebrate one´s birthday?

San Frediano

The church is S Frediano, near the old road to Pisa.  This photograph on the way back from a restaurant near Santa Maria Novella:

Santa Maria Novella, 9pm

The next day was devoted to shopping, in between bouts of which we visited the church of S Lorenzo.  This annunciation is by Filippo Lippi.

Annunciation, Filippo Lippi

And the saints are by the school of Ghirlandaio:
Saints, School of Ghirlandaio

The sacristy has medallions in the vaulting by Donatello. Here is an example
S Lorenzo Sacristy, Donatello Medallion
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:

St John Evangelist, Donatello, Opera del Duomo
Followed by his choir loft:
Choir Loft Balcony, Donatello, Opera del Duomo
Opposite della Robbia´s version:
Choir loft balcony, della Robbia, Opera del Duomo

Here are some of the panels from the della Robbia - the originals, it turned out, the balcony contains copies.
Choir loft balcony panel, della Robbia, Opera del Duomo Choir loft balcony panel, della Robbia, Opera del Duomo Choir loft balcony panel, della Robbia, Opera del Duomo
Choir loft balcony panel, della Robbia, Opera del Duomo
Choir loft balcony panel, della Robbia, Opera del Duomo Choir loft balcony panel, della Robbia, Opera del Duomo Choir loft balcony panel, della Robbia, Opera del Duomo
Choir loft balcony panel, della Robbia, Opera del Duomo

  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.
Sacrifice of Isaac, Ghiberti, Opera del Duomo
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.
Solomon and Queen of Sheba, Ghiberti, Opera del Duomo
And the creation of Adam
Creation of Adam, Ghiberti, Opera del Duomo
and finally, Moses receives the commandments.
Moses receives commandments, Ghiberti, Opera del Duomo
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 Santa Croce.

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.

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