Address: Piazza San Marco
The Convent was mentioned as early as the 12th century. In
1437 Cosimo the Elder commissioned Michelozzo to rebuild it and
the convent of San Marco was therefore the first to be built in
the elegant terse forms of the Renaissance.
The fine Cloister is a simple stone structure with brick
cornices. Light arcades delimit the space on the ground floor. On the first floor are fine lunettes frescoed
by Pocetti, Rosselli, Coccapani, Vanni, Cerrini, Dandini and
other illustrious artists. But most of the frescoes in the
cloister are by Fra' Angelico who passed the greater part of his
life within these walls; his works include: Crucifixion with St.
Dominic at the entrance to the cloister and the lunette over the
door with St. Peter Martyr; in the lunette of the Chapter Room, a
St. Dominic, and inside a magnificent Crucifixion; over the door
of the refectory a Pietà; on the door of the Hospice,
Jesus as a Pilgrim and, inside, the Madonna dell'Arte dei
Lanaioli (1433) the Last Judgement, Scenes from the Life of
Christ, the Deposition. In the Refectory a fine Supper of St.
Dominic, a fresco by Sogliani, and on the walls the Last
Judgement by Fra' Bartolomeo. A staircase leads to the next floor
with Fra' Angelico's famous Annunciation at the top; off the
corridor is the splendid Library by Michelozzo and at the end of
the corridor, the Cell used by Cosimo de' Medici. with a Crucifix
in the ante-chamber and an Adoration of the Magi in the cell,
both by Fra' Angelico. In the left corridor one can admire an
Enthroned Madonna between Saints and in the cells that open off
the corridor, other lovely works, all by Fra' Angelico: the
Annunciation, the Transfiguration, Christ before the Praetor, the
Maries at the Tomb, the Coronation, the Presentation in the
At the end of
the corridor is Savonarola's cell where there is a portrait of
the martyr painted by Fra' Bartolomeo. A flight of stairs on the
right leads down to the Small Refectory with a large fresco of
the Last Supper by
The Salone dell'Ospizio or Hospice contains a number of panel
paintings; particular note should be taken of Fra' Angelico's
Last Judgement and his Deposition.
The Church was restored in 1437 by Michelozzo himself; it was
later remodeled by Giambologna (1580) and then by Silvani; the
simple facade was redone between 1777 and 1780.
The interior is linear and the carved and gilded ceiling is of
note. On the door is a Crucifix of the school of Giotto, while
works on the altars include, on the right, St. Thomas Aquinas by
Santi di Tito and a Praying Madonna of Byzantine school.
Nearby is Michelozzo's Sacristy which contains a sarcophagus with
a bronze statue of St. Antoninus by Fra' Domenico Portigiani
Nearby is the Chapel of St. Antoninus with marble and bronze
decorations by Giambologna and Francavilla, and other works by
Alessandro Allori and Battista Naldini; the frescoes in the dome
are by Poccetti.
To the left of the presbytery note should be taken of the lovely
Cappella del Sacramento decorated with frescoes by Poccetti and
canvasas by Santi di Tito, Passignano and Empoli.