|Renaissance courtyard featuring arches supported by classical pietra serena columns
All around Florence are beautiful examples of simple, austere architecture, a good many of them designed by Brunelleschi such as the Ospedale degli Innocenti, and the churches Santo Spirito and San Lorenzo. The look is created with simple plaster walls supported by columns and mouldings of pietra serena, the native sandstone, and of course, excellent proportions.
|San Felicita- a Baroque remodel still retains the calm
The most notable example of this austere architecture I can find is the Pazzi Chapel, (if not designed then certainly influenced) by Brunelleschi, completed in 1460 in the first cloister of the Basilica of Santa Croce. It is simply the most composed, serene, purest example of Renaissance architecture in Florence. It speaks directly to the desire for simplicity, and peace, and all sorts of ideals about geometry, order, and being bigger than the sum of one's parts.
|Interior dome of the Pazzi Chapel, Santa Croce
|Altar, Pazzi Chapel, Santa Croce. Where's that light coming from?
OK so I was finished with this post, and then I heard about THIS:
Opera di Santa Croce Firenze, the non-profit institution that operates and maintains the Franciscan church has announced a crowd-funding campaign to restore the loggia that forms the entrance to the Pazzi Chapel.
|The ornamented loggia of the Pazzi Chapel - photo Marco Badiani
These details are now literally falling apart and require immediate attention.
- Read more about the Pazzi Chapel and the restoration efforts at the fabulous ArtTrav blog.
- Donate to the only Kickstarter campaign ever to be launched by a 720 year old church! UPDATE: FUNDED! Thank you! to any of my readers who contributed!
photos in this post by Lynne Rutter unless otherwise noted
Many of these architectural terms are in the Glossary!