Strozzi Palace and Santa Maria Novella

I changed to 8:30 museum visits on Wednesday. So when I thought I was cold last week, I really had no idea! We visited the Strozzi Palace and Santa Maria Novella this week. We also visited some other places along the walk that add to the story of the Medici family.

The Palazzo Strozzi Palace is a beautiful mark of a Florentine sort. The indented blocks, called rustication, on the façade of the building are very colonial because of the structure and uniform. The square/rectangle shape of the building gave a very clean, stern stance of the magnificence behind it with Filippo Strozzi wanting it to outshine any other building in Florence. Once inside the Palace, there is a courtyard with draining when it rains. There is groin vaulting with columns surrounding the courtyard. It is one of the greatest courtyards in 15th century Florence because of this design. The biforium windows relate to the arches resting on piers. The building has been taking good care of. I attended the fascinating museum visit on Boccelli and the finance of Florence in the Palazzo Strozzi Palace, and it is fascinating to me that the building is so much older then it looks.

The Santa Maria Novella seems to be such a small church when walking up to it. It is a classical style with the height and width being the same, however, the church ascends far beyond what the eye can see across the piazza. In 1470, the Rucellai family asked Leon Battista Albterti to create the façade in an Early Renaissance style, over the 1246 façade started by the Dominicans. The central port looks like the entrance to the Pantheon in Rome. Alberti also added volutes on either sides to hide the difference in heights between the central nave and aisles. The façade is decorated in the symbol of wind blown sails, and Egnazio Dante added to this by adding astronomical instruments. This church is the only Renaissance church in town.Giotto’s Crucifixion created in 1295 is hanging in the middle of the central nave. It is beautiful and wonderfully placed. It was possible to see the green color that makes Jesus look sick because of the clay used at the time of it being created. The Tornabuoni Chapel is very fascinating. I was very interested in the fact that the frescos were painted so that characters were looking into the center and also looking over to the other stories around the alter. The relation to paintings makes the story seem to come more alive while depicting the legends. We didn’t talk about the large clock on the left of the altar, but I thought it was an awesome antique. Santa Maria Novella is one of my favorite churches so far because there is so much inside that is relevant to what has been studied in class. There are also so many stories that take place, that one could never get bored depicting the life of the Medici and other wealthy families of the time.




One thought on “Strozzi Palace and Santa Maria Novella

  1. john burger says:

    I (we) have been fortunate o be able to follow you all over Europe. You write quite descriptively so we feel like we are in your hip pocket! Have fun and keep us posted
    John and Arlene

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